New research was released last month from Lifeway Research about how often Christ following individuals actually profess Christ. The big findings were that 80% agree with the statement “I have a personal responsibility to share my religious beliefs about Jesus Christ with non-Christians.” BUT 61% “have not shared how to become a Christian with anyone in the last 6 months.” See the full infographic below:
What is interesting is that75% of people polled say they feel “comfortable sharing their belief in Christ with someone else”, and 83% disagree with saying they have high anxiety about sharing.
To me, the results are not that surprising considering the many statistics about church shrinkage. I think actually believing the story of redemptive Grace found in Christ alone is probably the biggest culprit here. To put it bluntly, I don’t think people see responsibility the same as deep seeded belief, or that feeling responsible actually compels someone to share. People say they agree they should share, are confident with sharing, and aren’t really afraid. So whats the deal? I would argue that in their core they DON’T actually believe the message of Christ personally. If they did, sharing would happen, its as simple as that. OUCH!
The other thought here is to give the Church and those who claim to be Christ followers the benefit of the doubt. Lets say they do believe in their core. Then why don’t they share? I propose it is because they don’t see anyone else doing it. No stories are told (good, bad, ugly). No life change is modeled and broadcast! The simple declaration of Christs redemption and the importance it is…is not done!
So, whats the fix?
Take 5 for THE CAUSE! What? Simply build in the rhythm of your week when you start small groups, discussions, bible studies, and even service projects to share as a group stories of sharing your faith. A little public pressure helps others see that sharing is valuable to the subculture, so they should find it valuable as well. More importantly, public declaration of God’s goodness in the midst of the stories compels people to share themselves. When people hear stories that others are intentional, it reminds them to be intentional as well. When people hear stories of failure from others, they are willing to take risks and share as well. When people hear stories of success and see life transformation happen, they are inspired!
Follow each story up with prayer for the person who needs Christ or is yet to make a decision. This models how prayer is important in the process and reliance on God’s revelation is vital.
Read all about the practice of “Take 5 for THE Cause” here!
Have you integrated this “take 5″ model into your weekly meeting rhythm? If so, what have you seen happen?