All of us have probably heard the old statistic that goes something along the lines of, 85% of Christians made a commitment to follow Jesus before they reached age 18. This statistic is a good one, although hard to find a good quality source to back up. A show of hands in your church however does tend to yield this kind of result (which is terrible statistics).

Anyhow. I came across this stat on Twitter today:

"97% of evangelical Christians will die without ever sharing their faith with a single person. - Campus Crusade"

Now, you think the 85% one is bad, that could possibly be the worst statistic I've ever heard or seen! For a start, how do you measure this? My sociology major tells me that to get a representative group in order to make generalisations to the larger population, in this case Evangelical Christians, I would want to get about 1000 people and ask them if they had shared their faith before they died. I'm guessing you can see the problem there. They are dead. You can't ask dead people questions, therefore you can't know what they did before they died. So if I was the researcher and I wanted to know the answer to this question there is probably one other thing I could do. For the same 1000 people I could find every single person they had ever encountered in their life and ask them, did they share the gospel with you? If they all said no, then you could count that towards this statistic. Again, I'm assuming you see the problem here. There is no way you can ask even the majority of people a single person has met, let alone 1000 people, we're talking asking well over 1 million people (at a guess) that would need to be found and interviewed for this statistic to be discovered.

So it's a lie. That's my conclusion. You just cannot know.

Maybe a stat like 97% of Christians have not shared their faith within 10 years of being converted would be testable and equally damming.

We can do better than this awful attempt at statistics!