ON EVANGELISM: 5 Things You May Not Know About Gen Z in the U.S.

1. American teens are growing out of being Christian.
Though almost all Christian U.S. teens identified as Christian in childhood (94%) and Christianity remains the most common affiliation for teens (70%), about a quarter now claims no organized religion. This includes the one in ten (12%) who describe their faith identity as “nothing in particular.”

2. Christian U.S. teens are talking about their faith.
Seventy-eight percent have had a conversation about their faith identity with a non-Christian in the past year. Over one in three (35%) had one or two conversations.
Twenty-one percent had more than five. For this generation, these conversations are happening naturally and take place in calm, comfortable, relational environments.

3. Faith-sharing teens become more spiritually confident and are eager for more faith conversations.
Sixty percent of Christian teens who have had faith conversations with non-Christians in the past year followed up with the non-believer to ask more questions about their faith journey; the same percentage (60%) say the non-Christian initiated a follow-up to ask more questions. Furthermore, as a result of the conversations they took part in, teens feel more confident in their faith (85%) and eager to share their faith again (65%).

4. Face-to-face conversations remain the favorite.
U.S. teens are far more likely to say they would be open to in-person spiritual conversations than digital ones (58% vs. 23%). For Christian Gen Z, this preference for in-person environments is even more notable (66%). Similarly, unchurched teens are significantly more likely to express openness to in-person one-on-one spiritual conversations than to digital ones (27% vs. 17%).

5. There is opportunity for evangelism, especially in the household.
Sixty-four percent of non-Christian teens openly admit to having unanswered questions about faith. When seeking answers for these questions, they are most likely to turn to a family member (40%), though a small percentage will also turn to the internet (15%) or a friend whose faith they respect (8%).
Nearly half of non-Christian teens (47%) goes so far as to say that they are especially interested in Christianity and what it could mean for their life.

Excerpted from Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation, produced by Barna in partnership with Alpha


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