Why Pastors Don’t Evangelize Much, and Why We Must Do More

Evangelism is a central task of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), but many churches don’t do well at this task. In fact, many pastors don’t evangelize much, either. As a pastor, I know that struggle. Here are some reasons why we don’t evangelize, and then some reasons why we must kick start our evangelistic efforts.

Why We Don’t Evangelize Much

  1. We get cocooned in the church world. All of our world is wrapped up with believers, and it’s tough to reach non-believers when you don’t know any.
  2. We spend much of our time dealing with dysfunctional church members. That’s part of our job, of course, but we get imbalanced toward those members.
  3. We think that pulpit evangelism is enough. After all, we share the gospel every week, right? And, we talk to seekers who come to us after our sermons.
  4. For some, we’ve never been natural evangelists. Our giftedness lies elsewhere, and that’s where we put our attention.
  5. We simply don’t think much about it. This one’s hard to admit, but I think it’s true. We might occasionally talk about evangelism, but it’s not part of our DNA. Sometimes, it takes a post like this one to turn our heart in the right direction.

Why We Must Evangelize More

  1. People are still lost and headed for hell. I know that’s “preachy,” but it’s accurate. Our communities are dying without Jesus.
  2. We have to set the example. That’s part of our role as an undershepherd. We are to model Christian living for those we lead.
  3. Our church will be no more evangelistic than we are. In all my years of studying churches, I’ve never seen a congregation that outpaces its pastor in evangelism. Much of the blame lies with us if our churches aren’t evangelistic.
  4. The power of God rests more on us when we’re evangelizing. Not evangelizing is simply disobedience, and that sin robs us of God’s power. On the other hand, God empowers us more to do His work – including when we step into the pulpit – if we’ve been obedient in this task.
  5. It reminds us of why we were called in the first place. God called us to proclaim the good news to a lost world. That means He called us to an eternal task – not just to the day-to-day routine things of ministry. 

If you want to start doing more evangelism, you might begin by checking out the posts, “11 Characteristics of Evangelistic Pastors” and “10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Personal Evangelism.”


  • Greg says:

    Great post and reminder. We have to stay intentional.

  • Mark says:

    I think some pastors don’t want to get their hands dirty by first learning about what is going on in people’s lives. Asking someone totally different than the person you want to reach is not going to work. How can you convert someone if you don’t know what they (don’t) believe?

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