A new study from the California-based firm Barna Group, which compiles data on Christian trends in American culture, has revealed a staggering number of American millennials think evangelism is wrong.
The report, commissioned by the discipleship group Alpha USA, showed a whopping 47 percent of millennials — born between 1984 and 1998 — “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.”
47% of Millennials 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. pic.twitter.com/zGycm9cH09
— Barna Group (@BarnaGroup) February 6, 2019
By comparison, 27 percent of Gen X-ers, 19 percent of Boomers and 20 percent of Elders felt the same way. This new study makes millennials the most evangelism-averse generation on record.
Barna Group President David Kinnaman said in a statement regarding the new data that it’s important for the church to “persuade younger Christians that evangelism is an essential practice of following Jesus.”
“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,” he said. “As much as ever, evangelism isn’t just about saving the unsaved, but reminding ourselves that this stuff matters, that they Bible is trustworthy and that Jesus changes everything.”
Why do Millennial Christians have such paradoxical views of evangelism?
47% say it's wrong to evangelize, yet, 84% say that the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus.
Check out study below. Then add your thoughts and questions. https://t.co/4zQXqlJSLj
— David Kinnaman (@davidkinnaman) February 5, 2019
Interestingly, though, millennials feel very equipped and comfortable sharing details about their faith with others. The study found that nearly three-quarters — or 73 percent — of millennials know how to answer when asked questions about their faith.
Only 66 percent of Gen-Xers, 59 percent of Boomers and 56 percent of Elders said the same.