The Story: A new study finds that despite feeling comfortable in their ability to effectively communicate the gospel, churchgoers struggle most with sharing Christ with non-Christians.
The Background: The study conducted by LifeWay Research found 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith. Yet despite this conviction, 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.
Three-quarters of churchgoers say they feel comfortable in their ability to effectively communicate the gospel, while 12 percent say they don’t feel comfortable telling others about their faith. The survey also asked how many times they have personally, “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at your church?” Nearly half (48 percent) of church attendees responded, “zero.” Thirty-three percent of people say they’ve personally invited someone one or two times, and 19 percent say they’ve done so on three or more occasions in the last six months.
What Does It Mean? If Christians feel comfortable sharing their faith and recognize it’s their responsibility as disciples, why do so few share the gospel? And why don’t they at least pray for others? One-fifth—20 percent—say they rarely or never pray for the spiritual status of others. The survey included American adults who attend a “Protestant church once a month or more.” Are evangelicals more likely to share the gospel than other Protestant groups?