Jump directly to the Content

How Outsiders Find Faith

What I discovered was different from what I had always been told.

It was something I had heard repeated as long as I had been in ministry: "85 percent of all people who accept Christ do so before the age of 18." I was never exactly clear where that statistic came from, but I had no reason to doubt it either. Everyone I knew considered it an evangelistic axiom.

The good part of the statistic was that it reinforced the importance of reaching children and youth with the gospel. They are receptive. Important decisions are made before adulthood. And we must reach our young people with the gospel.

However, when I made the transition from ministry with students to adults, I quickly saw the downside of the statistic. Now I wanted to help adults reach their friends and neighbors for Christ. Though most were willing to try, I could see they didn't have much expectancy. They assumed that once people got past a certain age (the axiom indicated it was 18) the odds of them responding to the gospel were dismal.

At my first church, I remember encouraging board members ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Unleashing the Leaders around You
Unleashing the Leaders around You
To lead well means allowing others to lead.
From the Magazine
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
How a Mother’s Love Built a School that Can Transform Hearts and Brains
Jacob’s Ladder challenges special education norms thanks to Amy O’Dell's relentless belief in her son.
Editor's Pick
Pastoral Care Doesn’t Require Capes
Pastoral Care Doesn’t Require Capes
Four practitioners discuss how to minister well without resorting to heroics.
close