Half of Evangelical Millennials Say “Evangelism is Wrong”

Recent polling data demonstrates that half of evangelical millennials claim it is wrong to share the Gospel with others.

An evangelical is someone who wants to share the evangel, or the Good News. The term is a Middle English word transliterated from Latin and French and ultimately the Greek word, εὐαγγέλιον, or Good News. The term was first applied to Lutherans whose opponents thought they talked about the Gospel too much. In the 1960s, George Marsden claimed an evangelical was “anyone who likes Billy Graham.” Sharing the Gospel is always part and parcel of what it means to be an evangelical.

George Barna’s new report, Reviving Evangelism, shows the findings in statistical detail. This study evaluates evangelism encounters between various demographic groups. Among other findings in the study is the discovery that nearly half of millennials who identify as evangelicals believe it’s wrong to share the Gospel.

Nearly half of Millennials – at 47% – it is wrong to share their personal beliefs with someone of a different faith for the purpose of converting them. Only one-quarter of Gen X (27%) believes that and only one in five Boomers (19%) and Elders (20%) believe that.

This probably corresponds to previous research from Barna in Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age that 3 in 5 Christian Millennials believe that people today are more likely than in the past to take offense if they share their faith. In short, society is more sensitive and each generation seems more and more inclined to find offense in the Gospel.

Essentially, what this seems to indicate is you can take all the polling data that demonstrates the percentage of the American millennial population that claims to be evangelical and roughly cut it in half. Without evangelism, there’s not such thing as evangelicalism.

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory – Luke 9:26


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