New Study Suggests Christians Are Less Likely To Share Their Faith
Writer + Founder of CRTVCHURCH
T his might come as a shock to some, but Christians don’t like talking about their faith. At least that’s what a study by the Barna Group suggests.
Twenty-five years ago, Barna partnered with Lutheran Hour Ministries to research reasons why people did and did not engage in “intentional outreach.” Their most recent follow-up to that study has provided us with some fairly disturbing statistics.
The follow-up study claims, “a growing number of Christians don’t see sharing the good news as a personal responsibility.”
It goes on to say, “in 1993, 89% of Christians who had shared their faith agreed this is a responsibility of every Christian. Today, just 64% say so—a 25-point drop.”
Barna research also shows a massive decrease (86% down to 47%) in people agreeing with the statement: “converting people to Christianity is the job of the local church.”
Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group, had this to say about the decline: “The overarching cultural trends of secularism, relativism, pluralism and the digital age are contributing to a society that is less interested in religion, and that has marginalized the place of spirituality in everyday life.”
Stone continues, “Christians in America today have to live in the tension between Jesus’ commands to tell others the good news and growing cultural taboos against proselytizing—a core part of Christianity from its origins and, many practicing Christians believe, is essential for the salvation of their listeners.”
The study also observes the change in tactics Christians are likely to use to share their faith. In 1993, the most popular was to talk about changes and benefits of accepting Jesus. Today, those surveyed say they are more likely to ask questions about another’s beliefs and experience, before telling them their own.
The shifting views of Christians in the past twenty-five years are telling of the changes are churches have made. And, now that we’ve seen the reports we can make adjustments we see necessary to help benefit the future.