Fifteen Reasons Our Churches Are Less Evangelistic Today

February 23, 2015

By almost any metric, the churches in our nation are much less evangelistic today than they were in the recent past. In my own denomination, we are reaching non-Christians only half as effectively as we were 50 years ago (we measure membership to annual baptisms). The trend is disturbing.

We certainly see the pattern in the early church where “every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). In too many of our churches today, the congregations are reaching no one for Christ in the course of an entire year.

The Poll

I conducted an unscientific Twitter poll recently to see what church leaders and church members thought of this trend, My specific question was: “Why do you think many churches aren’t as evangelistic as they once were?”

The responses arrived quickly and in great numbers, both in public tweets and in direct messages to me. Indeed, I was still receiving responses four days after I sent my Twitter question.

The Results

The response was highly informative for me. Here are the top fifteen responses listed in order of frequency:

  1. Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.
  2. Many Christians and church members do not befriend and spend time with lost persons.
  3. Many Christians and church members are lazy and apathetic.
  4. We are more known for what we are against than what we are for.
  5. Our churches have an ineffective evangelistic strategy of “you come” rather than “we go.”
  6. Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the pastor and paid staff.
  7. Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
  8. Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical.
  9. Many church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.
  10. Our churches are no longer houses of prayer equipped to reach the lost.
  11. Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.
  12. Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.
  13. Most churches have unregenerate members who have not received Christ themselves.
  14. Some churches have theological systems that do not encourage evangelism.
  15. Our churches have too many activities; they are too busy to do the things that really matter.

So What Is the Solution?

I received hundreds of responses to this poll. There is obviously widespread concern about the lack of evangelism in our churches and among Christians.

First, let me hear what you think of these responses. Second, and more importantly, offer some solutions to the challenges. Make certain those solutions include what you can do as much as what they should do. I look forward to hearing from you.

photo credit: people talking in paris via photopin (license)

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307 Comments

  • Linda J. Carmichael says on

    First, thank you for sharing the responds of people who can shed light on the declining church effectiveness in the world today. I can share one personal gesture I made to my Pastor. I asked if I could set up a ministry. This ministry would assign a mature disciple to each “new member”. The mature disciple would stay with this person through phone calls, personal contact, or whatever line of communication that would work for both parties. The purpose of the close walk from being a new member and/or a babe in Christ is to make sure their maturity is not compromised. We know it it easy to be influenced the wrong way if you are not yet advanced in the Word of God. This is a brief sum of what I presented. My Pastor said in passing one day in church “I have not forgot about our meeting”. I have not heard one word from him to this day. In the church it starts from the “head” and leadership. If they drop the ball we will most definitely lose. Now look at “Your” first two (2) responds. Peace.

  • Linda Carmichael says on

    First, thank you for the awesome survey that you have shared. The solution that I pose here can be introduced with the old saying “It all starts at home”. We should do a better job being a model disciple- maker for our church members. Make them strong by teaching how to study the Word and apply it to their lives (spiritual growth); be available to them as they grow from :babes in Christ” to mature Christians. Our strong commitment will definitely yield a breed of Disciples that are equipped to do the work we are “called” to do. Matthew 28:16-20.

  • I really appreciate the Almighty God for this post to awaking the concerned brethren concerning why the church is less Or lukewarm evangelistically.
    Well, it is funny to say this, but, I have no choice than to say that “Most of the churches are lost into the world already, so how will they save those lost into the world; The lost cannot save the lost because they are now colleague in the forest.
    Another challenge is that, without the burning of God from the within, outreach will be a mere disturbance to those that supposed to carry out the assignment.
    There was a time in the days of old, Jeremiah the prophet decided to deceased from proclaiming God to the world and damn it to him. But here comes his result as he cried out
    Jer.20.9 – “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”.
    There is no fire again burning in the souls and spirit of those inside the church again, as so many have grieved the Holy Ghost and send Him out of their gathering like a landlord sending a tennant packing…so what do we expect ? If action is not taking by both Divinity and earthies, in few yrs to come it may be worst than what we are seeing now.
    The fire in the bones of the church is quenched and quashed already.
    This I think is the CORE reason of the lukewarmness of the church.
    PST JOSHUA SHALOM KIA.
    GOSPEL REPORTERS MINISTRIES INT’L INC.
    BENIN CITY, NIGERIA.

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