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 non-believers 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. Non-believers 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? 


  • Casey says:

    These are good. I would add to this: unanswered doubt.

  • Thinking that because one does not have the gift of evangelism that we are exempt or just thinking we’re not good enough at it so let those who are better talking to people do the job.

  • Thomas Ngugi says:

    1. Living a comfortable life in a wealthy society where the perils of human life are limited, hidden or well taken care where they exist. I’m originally from Kenya and I got saved while living here in Finland, where its rare to see/hear of a calamity; the kind that characterize other parts of the world. The average person sees no need of Christ since everything that lacks in other societies causing people to warm up to divine help is provided by the social system. My next door is a blind man and it took 6 months to know that such is my neighbor, he lives alone and has a way of life; picked up by a taxi everyday and off to somewhere – if it were in the developing world, he couldn’t do life alone; he would need others around him.
    The point is; in a wealthy society, the need for others and the necessity of God decreases.

    2. To elaborate on # 1: Waiting for the “church” to organize for evangelistic campaigns, or waiting for the “powerful evangelist” to be invited to get people saved. Ignorance on the fact that it is our personal duty to take the gospel to the people we know out of affection for Christ and love for the unbeliever.

  • Merica says:

    10 good reasons listed, my big issue is my understanding and believe is that not everyone is the same as we are not all extroverts or evangelists. We are all unique and can demonstrate and live a life of example where the love of God shines through us as we live. A number of years ago I was excited as I knew I had done as God had asked me but had no idea of what was coming up ahead and the enormous trial I was going to encounter. I experienced my church family of 25 + years turn against me and attack me. The Lies, nastiness, isolation, rejection and being shut down constantly just to mention a few. I know that is how evil represents itself but it was extremely difficult to understand. I had heard of this happening but I did not think it would happen to me. A year or passed and people around in my church changed as they became aware of the truth but still isolation/ rejection was present. I have more understanding now as to how big this is as I’m not a public person I’m finding it extremely difficult to actually finish the task of giving my testimony to my church.
    I have attempted several times but failed and finding it difficult to know why I have never been asked just many deliberate suggestions from many sources. I know that is what I need to do as God has also told me but have been slammed many times. It is extremely difficult and not even sure whether I can do my story Justice as it has been going so long. I do want this over believe me. I have done enough crying to sink a boat and in a way scared that I will start to cry when talking about my journey.
    I have definitely grown closer to God and have forgiven many many people even though I still see anger in faces as I’m not doing what I should. It’s not that I don’t want to I’m stuck and annoyed at myself.

  • Josh Gibson says:

    Hi Dr. Lawless. Loved taking your classes at SEBTS a few years back.

    *What about this thought:
    People see evangelism/missions as something to add to their (already busy) lives. Instead, they should see it as the purpose of their lives – living on mission.

    EX: (bad) I do not have time, i have to coach or run a group within the community
    EX: (new) I have to coach or run a meeting, so I will start where I am – where i have been gifted

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