Study: Most Christians Seldom Share Their Faith
In a recent and an extensive discipleship research project aimed at measuring spiritual maturity in churchgoers, LifeWay Research identified eight attributes that were consistently evident in the lives of maturing believers. Among these attributes, “Sharing Christ” was found to have the lowest average score among Protestant church attendees.
Their poor performance in such an important Christian duty is not due to ignorance; according to the study, 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith. Neither is their negligence in sharing Christ with others due to a sense of inability; again, according to the study, three-quarters of churchgoers say they feel comfortable in their ability to effectively share their faith.
Still, 61 percent say they have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months!
Let me get this straight—80 percent believe they have a Christian duty to share Christ with others; about 75 percent believe they can effectively carry out that duty; but in the past six months, over 60 percent have not shared their faith with another person.
As a Christian leader, I find the results of the study unsettling. In my attempt to reconcile all of the above findings, I come up with one word—not ignorance, not inability, but disobedience. In other words, if we believe we have a duty to do something, and we feel competent to do the same but we never do it, this inaction constitutes disobedience or negligence.
The bigger issue I see with the results of LifeWay Research’s study has to do with the negative impact on the spread of Christianity. The gospel cannot spread or remain vibrant in our society simply by current churchgoers attending church regularly to learn about their Christian duties, and to become better equipped to carry them out, but never being obedient to share Christ with others.
As Christians, “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He has returned to the Father, and has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. Accordingly, God wants to use His people to help lost men and women to become reconciled to Him. This won’t happen if we just attend church to hear the good news only to go home and sit on it. Based on LifeWay’s study, sounds as if a whole lot of that is what’s going on.