USA Today is reporting that the Southern Baptist Convention, which is launching a new national campaign to bring unbelievers to Jesus, is up against a major obstacle: motivating its own members to evangelize.
But it may be the only effective way to reach people, according to a survey of 15,173 people by LifeWay Research, a Christian research firm.
The survey found only two ways most people said they were somewhat or very willing to "receive information" about Jesus: 63% would hear it in a "personal conversation with a family member," or with a friend or neighbor from the church (56%).
"Baptists like to talk more about evangelism than to actually do it," says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. Personal evangelizing is "a great concept that's hard for people to get motivated to do."
Thirteen other ways to reach out — including print advertising, notes on the door, billboards, radio, television and high-tech online efforts — were clearly rebuffed, according to the research released this week.
The convention's North American Mission Board requested the survey to give direction to its new "GPS" campaign — adapting the global positioning system term for "God's Plan for Sharing," which it will launch in January. Pilot versions have begun, including efforts to reach 1.5 million people in Philadelphia; 10,000 in Riverside, Calif.; and more in Lubbock, Texas, and Stone Mountain, Ga.
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