Do evangelicals evangelize? When we wanted expert analysis of a recent survey of CT readers’ evangelistic habits, we turned to CT Research Fellow James Engel. The author of widely respected textbooks, Engel is Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Eastern College at Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. He brings more than an academician’s interest in evangelism: between 1965 and 1972 he directed Campus Crusade for Christ’s faculty ministry. His 1975 book What’s Gone Wrong with the Harvest? (cowritten with H. Wilbert Norton) is considered a seminal book on the role of decision making in evangelism.
Many published comments in recent years leave the impression that when it comes to evangelism and the local church, Christians do little or nothing. Our survey of 1,500 CTreaders (with a response rate of 60 percent) shows that this is far from the case. At least among active laypeople and church staff, evangelism is alive and kicking. The results are encouraging, and they also point the way toward how churches can help members do even more.
While nearly all respondents placed a high priority on personal witness, more than one-fourth emerged as an active, intentional core who pray and have spent meaningful time sharing the gospel with non-Christians in the past month. CT readers are not necessarily “typical” evangelicals. For example, the decision to subscribe to this magazine means a person has a higher-than-average interest in current ideas and trends among evangelicals. Yet much can be learned from the respondents’ beliefs and practices that applies to all.
The respondents themselves can be characterized by certain traits:
• The median age is 48.
• About half were raised in Christian homes. ...1
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