Only around half of U.S. practicing Christians are “completely comfortable” with various expressions of evangelism, a series of questions posed in a recent Barna Group survey revealed.

“Practicing Christians identify as Christian, agree strongly that faith is very important in their lives and have attended church within the past month,” the report explained.

Presented with eight evangelism approaches, respondents were asked to note those with which they were “completely comfortable.” Responses ranged from 57% to 41%, with a margin of error at plus-or-minus 3%.

“Listening to someone’s questions about faith” (57%) and “extending hospitality to people of other faiths” (55%), had the highest percentage of affirmation, while “explaining the reliability of Christianity” (44%) and “asking someone questions about their own faith” (41%) were the lowest.

Non-Christians and lapsed Christians (defined as people who “identify as Christian but have not attended church within the past month”) expressed a preference for more personal engagement with Christians when discussing faith and spirituality.

When asked how they liked to explore faith, 30% said they would prefer “casual, one-on-one conversation,” while 23% preferred “casual conversation within a group” and 20% dialogue with someone at church.

More impersonal approaches (such as receiving a tract or being approached by a person they don’t know on the street) were the preferences of 7% or fewer respondents.

“Overall, settings that prioritize relational interactions tend to be more attractive than approaches that don’t, even among those who are inclined toward spirituality,” the report said.

The full report is available here.

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