Why are Christians Now Hesitant to Share Their Faith?

Sharing faith has become optional

Barna and Lutheran Hour Ministries worked together in 1993 to research the reasons as to why people did or did not participate in intentional outreach. A sea-change has happened since that first study. The latest study discovered Christians do not share their faith by the same fervor and inclination they once did 25 years back. This recent research is a follow-up to the initial one and is titled Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age.

In 1993, 89 percent of the polled Christians agreed with the statement that every Christian bears the responsibility to share the faith. The present number is 64 percent. Only 10 percent of the respondents in 1993 said yes to a question on whether the local church has the sole responsibility to bring Christians into the fold. This number has increased to nearly 30 percent in the present time.

The approach and content of the faith conversations from 1993 to 2018 have changed. Since evangelism strategies or programs have always been popular, it was a surprise to researchers that present-day Christians who discuss their faith are more probable than Christians 25 years back to admit they utilize the same basic content and entryways every time they engage in a faith-centric conversation. The variation is a noticeable 44 percent compared to 33 percent.

A majority of those polled say the most popular approach is querying the other individual's experiences and beliefs (70 percent). The next common method was how the individual integrates faith in their daily life and not simply speaking about it (65 percent). These were common among the 1993 study as well. Christians of that time emphasized the supposed multiple beneficial aspects when one accepts Jesus (78 percent). This strategy is now adopted a fewer number of times (50 percent).

Other practices which are not followed today include quoting Bible passages. In 1993 it was 59 percent. That number has declined to 37 percent in the present day. Another less popular present-day practice was challenging the one being spoken to defend beliefs. It was 43 percent earlier. Now it is only 24 percent.

Data used for this report was primarily taken from a total of 1,714 Americans. The latter number includes 689 practicing Christians and 535 millennials. This research was wholly conducted online from June 22 to July 13, 2017.

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