John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Evangelism By the Numbers

As we continue to think through radical change in the church, let's turn our attention back to evangelism (fishing). Obviously, few churches are successful at evangelism these days. Some are. Most aren't. Fewer than half of all churches in America will have a single new member through evangelistic conversion this year. Something's wrong. Let's try to figure out where our problem might be.

Picture an imaginary number line from 1 to 10:


On the left side of the scale (1), we have someone who is completely unchurched, no relationship with God to speak of, no understanding of the Bible or who Jesus really is -- possibly no real desire to understand these things.

On the other end of the scale (10), we have someone who is ready to "step across the line" -- ready to make a commitment of faith -- the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 saying, "Here is some water; what's stopping me from being baptized right now?".

This is an overly simplistic scale, but I think it will illustrate the point.

Two questions:

  1. Where on the scale was the average non-church-going American person in, say, 1960?
  2. Where is the average non-church-going American person today?