Actions, invitations, storytelling: How Gen Z approaches evangelism

According to existing research from Barna Group, Christian Millennials are conflicted about – if not opposed to – sharing their faith. Are today’s teens following their lead? A new study among Gen Z seeks to find out.

In an effort to better inform leaders about the emerging generation’s perceptions of evangelism, Alpha USA and Alpha Canada partnered with Barna to create two country-specific reports on Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation.

When compared to older generations, Gen Z teens (ages 13–18) in both the U.S. and Canada think about and approach spiritual conversations in their own unique way. Today’s article offers research on how this group defines evangelism and feels while sharing their faith, offering necessary context for church leaders who are pondering how to activate this next generation in their faith-sharing endeavors.

Half of teens lean on actions, rather than words

How do U.S. Gen Z Christians define acts of evangelism? 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 percent each) are acts of evangelism.

Other actions they largely view as evangelism include “telling your personal story about how you came to be a Christian” (48 percent), “telling someone about benefits / changes experienced when following Jesus” (48 percent), and “praying with someone” (47 percent). Despite being the most digital-savvy generation, just under 3 in 10 Gen Z Christians (28 percent) say sharing digital / online content with someone is a form of evangelism.

When faithful Gen Z think about the preferences of recipients of evangelism, the theme is similar. Over 4 in 5 U.S. Christian Gen Z teens (83 percent) note “letting your actions speak rather than using words to explain your faith to someone” is most likely to create a positive response among non-believers.

Photo: Official on Unsplash

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