How should Christians spread the gospel? Some preachers have rallies. Some annoying people try street preaching. Your neighbors might invite you to church. But more than half of churchgoing Protestants now say they haven’t shared the gospel with anyone else in a long time.
According to a survey from LifeWay Research, 55% of Protestants who attend church regularly said they haven’t tried to convince anybody to accept the Bible over the past six months. Another 24% of them said they only did it 1-2 times. About 9% of people did it 6 times or more. (They’re no longer invited to your parties.)
“Sharing the good news that Jesus paid for our sins through His death on the cross and rose again to bring us new life is the mission of the church,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “but it does not appear to be the priority of churchgoers.”
Maybe the funniest thing about that survey is that 56% of church-going Christians said they prayed for opportunities to evangelize at least once a week. They’re literally offering thoughts and prayers to a command from Jesus.
It’s hard to blame them though. No one wants to hear someone else’s mythology, period, but especially not at a time when the most prominent Christians in the country are also some of the most awful, ignorant, despicable politicians in the country along with their right-wing cheerleaders.
Do you want to hear about my religion? It’s only led to vulnerable children being placed in cages, and the subjugation of certain minority groups, and a constant barrage of lies that you can’t escape.
You’d have an easier time selling Trump Steaks.
And all of that misses the other big point, which is that people are better equipped to deal with evangelists and their scripted schtick. The horror stories about Christians trying to push their faith on people are commonplace to the point that preachers are more likely to face resistance and pointed questions than mere acceptance of the “good news.” Christians are surely aware of all this, but maybe it contributes to their reluctance to approach non-Christians about converting.
They’re no longer selling a product that makes people’s lives better. And the rest of us know it.