Fewer than half of UK Christians believe it is important to share their faith with other people, a new study has found.
After the recent census showed a huge decline in the number of people in England and Wales that consider themselves Christians, many might assume followers of Jesus would be more motivated than ever when it comes to sharing the gospel.
However, research from Savanta ComRes, in collaboration with faith-based charity Operation Mobilisation, shows 49 per cent of adult Christians questioned, believe that evangelism is important.
The findings also suggest that one in five people that consider themselves a Christian would consider themselves to be “active” in their faith.
Emma Sivyer, Church Army mission development officer, believes this could be because of the way society has shifted away from one majority faith.
She said: “I think that it's certainly true, that there are people who are definitely called to the ministry of ‘evangelist’, and I suspect perhaps some people have heard that and thought ‘well, that's not me.’ So maybe that's why it's not important.
“I think that for some, they will feel very unconfident about sharing their faith; they're not sure what to say.
“I think our culture [says] ‘it's okay for you to have your faith and I believe what I want and that it's private.’ So I think that that makes people feel perhaps less confident.
“I also wonder a little bit about the wider global perspective - they might see sort of the symptom of the Christian nationalism, perhaps from the United States and sort of
confuse evangelicalism, in that sense, with evangelism. I think there's maybe all of that going on.”
When asked about their thoughts on The Great Commission – a reference to the instructions given by Jesus to share the gospel – 43 percent of “active Christians” knew nothing about it. Of those identifying as Christians, but not “actively” so, 71 percent had no knowledge.
Savanta ComRes surveyed 2,351 British adults.
Despite some disheartening results, the findings also suggest a growing approach to spirituality in 18-24 year olds, and are 55 percent more likely to have gone to church in the last six months, compared to people over the age of 45.