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Addressing Apathy Toward Missions

When the Church isn’t paying attention… When the heart of Christ is being missed… When people stop caring…

How should the Church respond?

This is a tough question to answer! But for many Christians we’ve talked with lately, the question is suddenly front-of-mind.


As you may have heard, we recently partnered with Barna Group to release data showing that today’s Christians are unfamiliar with the Great Commission. (Need a refresher? These words from Jesus are found in Matthew 28:19 and read, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”) Barna reported that half of churched Christians in the U.S. have never heard of this command!

This is concerning, considering 3 billion people in the world are unreached by the Gospel. If Christians don’t know that Jesus calls them to make disciples, how will the world’s unreached people hear about Him?

To help churches reclaim their heart for the Great Commission, we’ve been gathering with pastors for roundtable discussions held across the U.S. over the past couple of months.

Sadly, many pastors have shared that they aren’t surprised by Barna’s findings, because:

  • They have been asked why their church should allocate resources toward meeting global needs when there are so many needs in their own backyard
  • Their congregations don’t believe the U.S. Church should try to interfere with another culture by pursuing global missions work
  • Their church thinks the Great Commission is only for paid church staff members who are doing ministry for a living

While this is disheartening, we’re excited to engage pastors in conversations about next steps. During our roundtable discussions, church leaders have developed ideas for making changes in their churches.

Some concluded that their preaching, specifically, must have a greater emphasis on the urgency of advancing the Gospel around the globe. Others recognized that their church needs to get more people involved in advocating for missions. We’re thrilled to see these conversations progress!

This discussion is critical to have, and it’s not just for people who work in a church! It’s something you can be involved in as someone who simply cares about seeing people around the world come to know Jesus.

Here are 3 ways you can join the conversation:

  1. Download The Great Disconnect, Barna’s full report on U.S. Christians’ views on global missions.
  2. Tell your church about this report! By awakening your church leadership to Christians’ apathy around global missions, you’re taking a step toward change.
  3. Join a roundtable discussion. If you happen to be a church leader of any kind, we’d love to have you join us at an upcoming roundtable discussion. View dates and locations here—and check back regularly as more are being added!