I’m very curious why more people aren’t coming to know Jesus in North America. Why is the spread of the Gospel so stalled? What seems to emerge is not just one reason but a tapestry of reasons. For instance, the Barna Research group uncovered a very interesting reality in research they published in 2013. Here’s what they found:
Middle-class ‘born-again’ Christians have the lowest rate of evangelism among other household income groups. This is particularly paradoxical since born again, middle-income adults are the most likely out of all income groups to affirm their personal responsibility to evangelize—76% do so. Yet only 37% of those adults have shared their faith this past year. Furthermore, born again, middle-income adults are evangelizing less and less. For example, from 2010 to today alone, their outreach efforts dropped from 51% to 37%. In contrast, ‘born-again’ Christians who make the least amount of money ($39,000 per year or less) evangelize the most (57 percent), followed by upper-income Christians (52 percent).
What is going on here? Perhaps there is something about the distraction of chasing consumption that minimizes our focus on that which matters most. However, it’s confusing when you see that people who are poorer than the middle class and people who are richer than the middle class share their faith more than the middle class – a group that constitutes anywhere between 26% and 66% of American households. Whatever is going on – it is alarming! North America desperately needs Jesus, and Barna’s research tells us the majority of Christians fully understand this, but a great majority of us are not moved to share the hope that resides within us. What do you think is the root cause of this?