10 Reasons (Beyond Fear) That Believers Don’t Evangelize

Here are some other reasons—perhaps surprising ones—that believers don’t evangelize.

10 Reasons (Beyond Fear) That Believers Don't Evangelize

If you look at many studies about evangelism, you’ll discover that fear is a primary factor that keeps Christians from telling the Good News. Those fears might involve a fear of rejection, a fear of not knowing answers, a fear of others watching our lives more closely if we speak of Christ, or other possibilities. In addition to fear, here are some other reasons—perhaps surprising ones—that believers don’t evangelize:

  1. No one has ever told them it’s their responsibility. If new believers simply look around, they’re likely to see a bunch of other believers relying on pastors to evangelize; so, they assume that’s the right approach.
  2. They don’t know many nonbelievers anyway. The longer we’re in church (and, the higher we climb a church’s leadership ladder), the less likely it is that we’re even connected with the lost world.
  3. They’re not really believers. They’ve gone through the motions of following Christ, but without genuinely turning from sin to trust Christ. Nonbelievers don’t evangelize.
  4. They’re undiscipled pluralists. Deep down, they believe there are multiple ways to God—and no one has intentionally, clearly shown them otherwise from the Scriptures.
  5. They see no need theologically. They misapply biblical teachings of God’s sovereignty to say that there’s no reason to evangelize in the first place.
  6. The church quenched their zeal. They may have been excited to tell others when they first met Christ, but that fire has been long gone. Other unexcited believers helped put it out.
  7. They do not know the gospel well. They know they turned to Christ in faith and repentance, but no one has taught them how to clearly summarize the gospel for others.
  8. They’ve bought in to political correctness. The world says it’s unkind and intolerant to claim only one true way to God.
  9. They’re caught in their own sin. They may even be genuinely fighting that sin, but the energy of the battle and the discouragement of defeat keep them from talking about Good News.
  10. They’re bound up in the struggles of life. Sometimes, life’s battles are so intense that it’s tough to think about anything other than surviving the day. Evangelism will have to wait, it seems.

What other reasons would you add to the list?

This article originally appeared here.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the countryYou can read articles from Dr. Chuck Lawless on his personal blog (ChuckLawless.com) ( or connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook. .