Evangelism can be one of the most rewarding yet daunting obligations a Christian faces, but it appears technology has — at least for some — made sharing the gospel just a little easier.
According to a new study from the Barna Group, roughly three in 10 Christians have shared their faith with their non-believing friends and acquaintances via social media. Based on the data, 28 percent of Christians said they use social media to broadcast their faith, and 58 percent of non-believers said a Christian shared their faith with them online.
Thirty percent of Christian respondents said they are equally as likely to share their faith online as in person, while 12 percent said they are more likely to evangelize over the internet.
“Technology and rapid cultural shifts may have altered the face of evangelism, but the Great Commission remains,” Barna stated in its report. “This new report tracks what has changed so that leaders can coach Christians to be effective in sharing the unchanging Good News.”
Interestingly, despite having grown up in the digital age, millennials are the most cautious when it comes to openly sharing their religious beliefs on social media. While only 30 percent of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) said technology has made them “more careful” about sharing their faith, 58 percent of millennials, those born between (1981 and 1996), said they exercise more caution on the internet.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that technology has impacted the way Christians fulfill the Great Commission issued in Matthew 28:19 — “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” — by making it both less intimidating and more accessible.
A total of 47 percent of the survey’s Christian respondents agreed that technology and interactions on social media “have changed how others respond when I share my faith.” Similarly, 44 percent said technology in this digital age has “changed how they share their faith” with those around them.
Here’s the breakdown of how Christians share their faith online: 88 percent through “personal posts,” 86 percent by “sharing others’ posts,” 85 percent by “comment on others’ posts or walls,” 58 percent via “profile information,” and 34 percent by “profile image.”