Saturday, December 21, 2013

is evangelism going out of style?

 barna | Gospel tracts, sidewalk evangelism, street preachers with bullhorns—all of these things seem like evangelistic efforts of yesteryear. But if this seems true, where does that leave the state of evangelism today? Is faith-sharing a fading practice, or does it simply look different today? In all their innovative efforts to engage culture, have Christians left this ancient practice so integral to their faith behind?

Barna Group has charted evangelistic practices and attitudes for more than two decades, and the latest study sheds light on the gaps between evangelism in theory and practice, the social groups who are sharing their faith the most, and the surprising ways economics color one's outreach efforts.

Evangelism in Theory and In Practice
When asked if they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others, 73% of born again Christians said yes. When this conviction is put into practice, however, the numbers shift downward. Only half (52%) of born again Christians say they actually did share the Gospel at least once this past year to someone with different beliefs, in the hope that they might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

As with most convictions, there usually lies a dividing line between theory and practice. When it comes to evangelism, that dividing line looks different among various demographics.

Barna defines evangelicals according to adherence to nine theological perspectives (defined in the details below), including one's personal responsibility to share their faith in Christ with others. So in this study, of course, evangelicals (100%) claim this responsibility by definition. Nearly seven out of 10 have acted on this conviction within the last year, meaning evangelicals have the highest rate of evangelism among the various religious segments that Barna examined.

What stands out among the data, however, is that evangelicals also have among the highest rates of failure in follow-through from conviction to action when it comes to sharing their faith. Nearly one-third (31%) believe they should evangelize, but have not done so—at least within the past year.
Catholics (34%), on the opposite end of the spectrum, are the least likely across Christian faith traditions to affirm their personal responsibility to share their faith. Yet, this minority is also the most consistent in linking their belief and behavior. Roughly one-third of all Catholics (34%) believe they should evangelize, while one-third of born again Catholics actually do.


Vic78 said...

I guess the tracts ain't cutting it anymore.

Vic78 said...

I've found some better tracts than the ones Jack puts out.

CNu said...

lol, no way Jose!!! Those Chick tracts are straight dope. I don't even want to think about what a couple of those bad boys would do to a person in the properly "sanctified" frame of mind. Those are to Christianity what Tom of Finland is to teh gey....,

Vic78 said...

CNu, you ain't right. Damn, that's sick.

CNu said...

lol, what kinda fruit was that Adam and Eve was snackin on? How Eve gonna be sitting so immodestly when approached by that "beautiful serpent"..., shoooooooot..., Jack Chick IS the Bible-Buddy's Tom of Finland.

Accept no substitutes!

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