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Pastors' Pulse

It may be different from how your people do.

Evangelism looks different from the pulpit than from the pew. Several differences emerged in a major nationwide survey conducted by LEADERSHIP and Church Growth Institute of Lynchburg, Virginia. A questionnaire was sent to 5,000 pastors (10 percent responded), who distributed additional questionnaires to lay people.

For one thing, pastors and lay people can't agree on what to call evangelism. The survey asked, Which of the following terms do you use most often to describe the act of sharing Christ with others? and listed terms: Sharing your faith, witnessing, evangelism, outreach, presenting the gospel, soulwinning, discipling. Pastors were more likely to use terms such as "outreach" and "evangelism." But lay people preferred "soulwinning" and "crusade." (See chart) In short, pastors and ministry staff tend toward newer, more unoffensive terms for evangelism; lay people may feel more comfortable using traditional terms.

What's more, clergy and ...

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