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Gen Z’s Evangelism Centers on Actions Over Words, Study Finds

Photo by Nico Smit via Unsplash

Gen Z’s Evangelism Centers on Actions Over Words, Study Finds

By Movieguide® Contributor 

A recent Barna study investigated Gen Z’s approach to evangelism and faith in a digital world, uncovering surprising differences between today’s teens and other generations. 

Barna’s study with Alpha USA and Alpha Canada found that more than “half of teens lean on actions rather than words when sharing their faith.” 

“Half believe ‘letting your actions speak rather than using words to explain your faith’ and ‘inviting someone to attend a church service with you’ (50% each) are acts of evangelism,” the study found. 

“Other actions they largely view as evangelism include ‘telling your personal story about how you came to be a Christian’ (48%), ‘telling someone about benefits/changes experienced when following Jesus’ (48%) and ‘praying with someone’ (47%),” it continues. 

“Despite being the most digital-savvy generation,” the study adds, “just under three in 10 Christian Gen Z (28%) say sharing digital/online content with someone is a form of evangelism.”

In fact, over four in five Christian teens (83%) believe that “letting your actions speak rather than using words to explain your faith to someone” is one of the best ways to elicit a positive response from non-believers. 

Additionally, talking about their faith doesn’t create negative emotions in Gen Zers. 

The study concluded that for “half of all U.S. Gen Z (52% Christian Gen Z, 47% non-Christian Gen Z), talking about faith makes them feel calm. Roughly one in three (37%, 30%) agrees they feel peaceful when talking about their faith with someone of a different religious identity.” 

Furthermore, Gen Z teens aren’t worried about being judged when sharing their faith. More than four in five (81%) refute the claim that “if someone disagrees with you, it means they’re judging you.”

In another study, Barna found that almost half of practicing Christian Millennials think evangelism is wrong. 

“Almost half of Millennials (47%) agree at least somewhat that it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith,” the study concluded. “This is compared to a little over one-quarter of Gen X (27%), and one in five Boomers (19%) and Elders (20%).”

David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group, said, “We must pass on resilient faith to Christian young people (this is also a form of evangelism), planning especially for the pivot point of the high school and college-age years.” 

“The dropout problem is real, and it has a chilling effect on the overall evangelistic environment,” he continued. “It is impossible to exactly trace the impact of lapsed Christians on non-Christians, but sobering to consider the ‘de-evangelistic’ clout of those who leave the faith.”

“Even after they are committed to sustaining resilient faith, we must persuade younger Christians that evangelism is an essential practice of following Jesus,” Kinnaman added.

“Cultivating deep, steady, resilient Christian conviction is difficult in a world of ‘you do you’ and ‘don’t criticize anyone’s life choices’ and emotivism, the feelings-first priority that our culture makes a way of life. 

“As much as ever, evangelism isn’t just about saving the unsaved, but reminding ourselves that this stuff matters, that the Bible is trustworthy and that Jesus changes everything,” he concluded.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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