We've asked 114 leaders from 11 ministry spheres about evangelical priorities for the next 50 years. Here's what they said about evangelism.
There are 3.5 million churches worldwide. But fewer than 7 percent are evangelistic. That's a huge issue now and will be for the next 50 years, according to leading evangelists who spoke to Christianity Today.
The evangelists told CT that the global rise of fundamentalism among Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists means churches also face a hostile climate for almost any kind of evangelistic outreach.
Kumar Abraham, president of the Good News Evangelistic Association (GNEA) in Manila, told CT he expects more non-Christian fundamentalists to persecute Christians who evangelize. But there's another concern that worries him. Abraham said, "Some parts of the church will turn against others, asking the church itself to be less aggressive in evangelism or pushing for the acceptance of universalism, saying this will facilitate peace among religions."
The evangelists said too few churches place a high priority on soul-winning. Steven Douglass, president of Campus Crusade, said one reason seems to be that many Christians doubt that the Great Commission can ever be fulfilled. To the contrary, he said, Scripture would not include the Great Commission unless God expected it to be fulfilled.
"It is my prayer that we, as evangelicals, will be willing to trust God fully," Douglass said. "He is overwhelming us with choice opportunities to win people to Christ."
One of those choice opportunities comes through technology. Evangelist Greg Laurie said, "Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church, but he did say the church should go to the whole world. And, through modern technology, we now have a way to ...1
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