At the heart of Christian faith is Jesus
Christ's command to share it as widely as possible, and not just by pastors.
Yet only 5 percent of American Christians engage in any form of
evangelism, and 50 percent of churches don't see a single person come to faith
in a year
, research shows (data available upon request).
That's why on January 28, 2011, a packed crowd of nearly 1,000 pastors and
leaders from 200 churches and 9 states -- Midwest to Pacific Northwest --
converged at the main campus of Colorado Christian University for the first-ever
"Outbreak" conference to discuss the startling news and how to reverse
The evangelism deficit is less about desire than
practical training among Christians today, say conference founders and
best-selling Christian authors and apologists Mark Mittelberg, Lee Strobel, and
Greg Stier, founder of the national youth outreach Dare 2 Share, based in
The one-day, free event, officially sponsored by CCU,
offered ways for church leaders to train Christians in the practice of
evangelism. Headed by Mittelberg, Strobel, and Stier, it centered on
Mittelberg's Becoming a Contagious Christian
curriculum which has
helped lead an estimated one million people into Christian faith. A handful of
guest speakers shared the stage throughout the day and popular Denver pastor
and radio personality Gino Gerasi broadcast live from campus.
the Bible reveals the truth about God and reality, then it's of utmost
importance to tell as many people as possible what Christianity uniquely
offers," said Brian Carlson, a former pastor and CCU spokesperson at the
conference. "That belief was at the core of the day's events, clearly on a
personal level with each speaker."
Take for example Strobel,
formerly an award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune -- and also a
staunch atheist. Today he's the author of works heralded among the most
effective for validating Christianity, born from his own conversion
"We have been using many strategies to get our folks
engaged in [reaching out to] their friends," said one attending pastor from
Colorado, joined at the conference by 12 of his church leaders. "Now we can
move forward with intentional training."