After 392 A.D., the Church began to view the people in the Roman Empire as having accessibility to the gospel, thus the fervency of the Christian witness within the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire dwindled. Jesus commissioned the early Church to serve as His witnesses beginning in their present location and moving outwards to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Until the Christianization of Rome, the Church had been faithful in this mission. Unfortunately, Christians began to regard missions as only taking place outside of their homeland, and they would depart their own country to evangelize. Some missiologists hold that the present Church has inherited the mindset that evangelism transpires solely outside of one’s immediate geographical living area. Consequently, evangelism rarely happens around the area of an individual church body.
Evangelicals have noticed the endangered position of the American Church. In a recent study, the yearly requirements for a church body to be deemed as evangelistic were to have twenty-six people become Christians under their church’s influence and to have one person baptized for every twenty members.
With that criteria, the surveyors accredited less than four percent of Southern Baptist churches as evangelistic.