Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize

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Survey finds young believers want others to know about Jesus. They just don’t want to speak up about it.

Millennials used to be the group that churches and ministries were angling to evangelize. Now, all grown up and poised to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest generation, they’re the ones doing the evangelizing.

At least they should be.

But new research from Barna Group and the creators of the Alpha course offers some disappointing news regarding the 20-somethings and 30-somethings now on deck to carry on the faith: nearly half (47%) of practicing Christian millennials—churchgoers who consider religion an important part of their lives—believe that evangelism is wrong.

They’re more than twice as likely as their parents and grandparents—Boomers and Elders, respectively—to say that it’s “wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.”

While this statistic could easily bolster stereotypes of a lazy, distracted, and increasingly unaffiliated generation, the minority of millennials who have stayed active in their churches also show higher markers of commitment in other areas, as well as a savvier sense of the religious pluralism and diversity they were raised around.

The recent Barna release found that, despite the reticence around the practice, millennials consider themselves good evangelists and still see themselves as representatives for their faith.

Nearly all practicing Christian millennials (96%) said witnessing for Jesus is part of being a Christian, and they were more likely than any other generation to say they were gifted at sharing their faith (73%).

And Barna previously found that millennials who identify as born-again were the most likely age group to share their faith—and that …

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