Sixty-five percent of Church leaders said that evangelism is not a priority, according to a recent survey conducted by Alpha Canada and the Flourishing Congregations Institute. The study revealed some surprising insights about how Pastors and Church leaders in parts of North America view evangelism, the importance placed upon it and how it is defined. The research was formally presented at Alpha Canada’s virtual Life Shared Summit yesterday.
“We know that our mission is to make the last command given by Jesus — to make disciples — our first priority,” said Senior Vice President of Alpha International Shaila Visser. “Evangelizing should be at the forefront of all we do and it is shocking to see that among some North American Church leaders this is not the case. I hope the research conducted will encourage people to go out and share the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Share your thoughts on this story and other news stories on Christian News Journal’s Facebook page here.
Another key discovery from the study is that the understanding of and approach to evangelism has shifted as culture, perceptions and society have changed over time. COVID-19 served as a catalyst for ministry innovation and made church leaders shift and adjust to the unprecedented times. The emphasis on evangelism remains shockingly low as the study revealed only 40% of church leaders claimed to increase prioritizing evangelism during the pandemic, while 50% say they adapted their approach as a result of COVID-19. These numbers are put into perspective as it was shown that considering this increase, there was still a mere 34% of churches stating evangelism is a priority.
Reservations of sharing one’s faith are outlined in the research and reflect how the Church approaches evangelism. These findings include:
- 45% encourage their congregations to evangelize by sharing faith through actions;
- 40% say that evangelism involves inviting people to church;
- 35% encouraged inviting a person to a program or class, something like Alpha;
- 33% claim verbally sharing the gospel was a common method encouraged among their congregation.
“Through the research, we see how there is no unified goal or even language surrounding evangelism,” said Visser. “North America is becoming less Christian today than it was generations before, which goes to show the importance of church leaders equipping congregants for, and encouraging them in evangelism”
The surprising State of Evangelism research is being presented at the Life Shared Summit today. The conference is being put on by 19 partnering organizations and hosted by six incredible Canadian evangelical leaders: Danielle Strickland, Jean-Philippe Beaudry, Father Simon Lobo, Darrell Johnson, Patti Miller and Jon Thompson.
“The opportunity of gathering Church leaders from across Canada to reimagine evangelism in our nation will be impactful,” said Visser. “The summit will allow a time to celebrate the work of God in this country and pray for all Canadians to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to make Jesus’ last command, our first priority.”
To learn more about Alpha Canada and the Life Shared Summit visit, https://alphacanada.org/.
ALPHA equips and serves the Church in its mission to help people discover and develop a relationship with Jesus. For more than 30 years, Alpha has worked effectively across every major denomination, culture and context worldwide. Churches offer Alpha as an 8-to 11-week course that creates a friendly, judgment-free environment for people to hear the gospel, ask questions about faith and process through their doubts. Over 1 million people in Canada have experienced Alpha, and millions more have taken Alpha in over 100 countries and over 100 languages around the globe.