by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new survey shows that while almost all pastors believe missions are a mandate for all believers, less than half of practicing lay Christians believe this is true, Christian Headlines (CH) reports. Conducted by the Barna polling organization, the results of the survey were published on April 20.
In surveying what pastors and lay Christians believe about Jesus’ command in Matthew 28: 19-20 to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” the Barna researchers found that 85 percent of pastors believe “missions is a mandate for all Christians” but only 46 percent of practicing lay Christians believe the same.
“This is a profound difference,” Barna said in a statement about the finding. “… Both leaders and churchgoers must unpack why this gap exists.”
“Pastors could lean in to better understand and shape how congregants interpret missions. Does their participation mean donating money, praying, educating, evangelizing, relocating or something else?” Barna said.
Moreover, according to the survey, 77 percent of pastors believe it is more important to engage with missions to spread the gospel than it is to promote justice; 15 percent said the reverse, CH reports. On the other hand, 43 percent of lay Christians said it was more important to “spread the gospel,” while 37 percent chose “promote justice.”
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