Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Both Social Justice & Evangelism On The Rise For Millennials

Photo Credit: Merrimack College
According to recent research from the Barna Group, the perception that Christian Millennials (those born in the early 1980's through the early 2000's) are big on social justice but wary of evangelism might not be accurate. Here is what Barna found:
"They've been called "the social justice generation," and for good reason—Millennials are actively taking up the cause of the poor, the oppressed, the orphan and the widow. Yet the most common critique leveled at this surge in social compassion is that it comes at a great expense. Sure, skeptics argue, they might feed the hungry and free the captives in this life, but what about the next? According to this view, Millennials are elevating physical needs over spiritual needs and forgoing evangelism altogether. 
Yet the latest Barna research reveals this is not the case. 
In fact, in answer to the question of evangelism on the rise or in decline, Millennials are a rare case indeed. While the evangelistic practices of all other generations have either declined or remained static in the past few years, Millennials are the only generation among whom evangelism is significantly on the rise. Their faith-sharing practices have escalated from 56% in 2010 to 65% in 2013. 
Not only that, but born again Millennials share their faith more than any other generation today. Nearly two-thirds (65%) have presented the Gospel to another within the past year, in contrast to the national average of about half (52%) of born again Christians. 
Since tracking began in 1996, the data show born again Busters, who are currently in their thirties and forties (63%), were evangelizing at an all-time high in 1998. However, evangelism practice among Busters is down to 48% today. Among the Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), nearly two-thirds of born again Boomers (65%) shared their faith in 2007, but today, this has dropped to less than half (49%). The outreach efforts of born again Elders (ages 68 and older), on the other hand, have remained fairly steady over the past several decades. Today, Elders (53%) share their faith just about as much as the average born again Christian (52%)."
I'm thankful that I have the privilege to invest in the lives of this generation of young people.

To read the rest of the findings please click here.