Jump directly to the Content

How Outsiders Find Faith

What I discovered was different from what I had always been told.

It was something I had heard repeated as long as I had been in ministry: "85 percent of all people who accept Christ do so before the age of 18." I was never exactly clear where that statistic came from, but I had no reason to doubt it either. Everyone I knew considered it an evangelistic axiom.

The good part of the statistic was that it reinforced the importance of reaching children and youth with the gospel. They are receptive. Important decisions are made before adulthood. And we must reach our young people with the gospel.

However, when I made the transition from ministry with students to adults, I quickly saw the downside of the statistic. Now I wanted to help adults reach their friends and neighbors for Christ. Though most were willing to try, I could see they didn't have much expectancy. They assumed that once people got past a certain age (the axiom indicated it was 18) the odds of them responding to the gospel were dismal.

At my first church, I remember encouraging board members ...

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Parish Without Partners?
Parish Without Partners?
It took a church and a social service agency teaming up to bring good news to a tough Chicago neighborhood.
From the Magazine
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
Alcoholism among women is rising. Can the church help?
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close