Survey shows churchgoers struggle to find time for discipleship activities, but the most committed do it anyway


SUWANEE, Ga. — Nearly half of Christians say they struggle to find time to spend with fellow believers in discipleship activities because they’re too busy, according to a pair of surveys by the Barna Group, an organization that monitors cultural and religious trends in the U.S.

Barna, writing about the surveys in an article last week, said they found bright spots in that 58 percent of Christians spend uninterrupted time with God and that 57 percent find time to regularly read their Bibles. But, when it comes to discipleship activities, 39 percent of Christians are not involved in helping others grow in their faith.

“The problem is that many Christians have made conversion the finish line,” said Ray Sullivan, discipleship consultant for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “They think once people have gotten saved, they’ve done their part.”

However, Sullivan said it’s crucial for every Christian to be both a disciple and a disciple-maker.

“According to the Great Commission, that is what we do,” he said. “We’re called to make disciples.”

In the article, Barna said 33 percent of Christians who are actively involved in disciple-making activities worry about how to keep things engaging for the long haul, and 32 percent are concerned about how to keep disciple-making activities priorities considering other activities they’re juggling.

Barna based the article on surveys of 5,441 adults who self-identify as Christians.

Barna said even Christians who are committed to discipleship activities struggle to make time for them.

“Yet, it doesn’t stop them,” Barna wrote. “Findings suggest the decisive factor is not who has the hours in the day but who is willing to creatively commit from the hours they do have to growing in their faith and becoming qualified or equipped to help others grow, too.”