Barna has just released the findings of a new study commissioned by the discipleship organization Alpha USA, and one of the revelations is shocking.
The goal of the research was to better understand what Christian millennials believe about the Gospel and sharing their faith in general. Though the vast majority agreed with statements like “the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus” and “they know how to respond when someone raises questions about faith,” things took a turn when they were asked about sharing their faith.
From the report: “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.”
That is far higher than Gen X, Boomers and Elders. (Gen Z wasn’t included in the study.) That makes millennials the most evangelism-adverse generation on record.
In a statement included in the research, Barna Group president David Kinnaman said,
Even after they are committed to sustaining resilient faith, we must persuade younger Christians that evangelism is an essential practice of following Jesus. The data show enormous ambivalence among Millennials, in particular, about the calling to share their faith with others.
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.