Reaching Out

What Makes an Engaging Witness According to Gen Z

What does it look like to be comfortable in the act of talking about one’s Christian faith in an era where skepticism is high and evangelism is unpopular? The following article provides insight into how Generation Z (ages 10-25) see this topic, which we will see has applicability across all age groups.
“What characteristics do Gen Z name when thinking of someone who is an engaging witness? The majority of teens (especially non-Christians) says SOMEONE WHO LISTENS WITHOUT JUDGMENT seems like a person who’s comfortable sharing their faith. This is telling in light of past Barna findings<> which showed that a number of Gen Z who had interacted with church or Christianity said CHURCH WAS NOT A SAFE SPACE TO EXPRESS DOUBT. Gen Z teens desire conversation partners who are open to difficult topics.
U.S. Christian teens also perceive comfort in someone who is confident in sharing their opinion or good at asking questions, while non-Christians look to THOSE WHO DON’T FORCE A CONCLUSION, OR WHO DEMONSTRATE INTEREST IN OTHER PEOPLE’S STORIES. Together, these characteristics cast an image of Gen Z’s ideal evangelist—perhaps a person they hope to become or encounter.
Non-Christian teens prefer to see FAITH IN ACTION, NOT IN CONVERSATION. While the data above help establish how both Christians and non-Christians define an evangelist who is at ease, how exactly do non-Christian teens want to be approached when it comes time to talk about personal beliefs? According to non-Christian Gen Z, THE MOST APPEALING EVANGELISM OCCURS WHEN CHRISTIANS LIVE OUT THEIR FAITH, not when they explain it.
On the other hand, non-Christians very much dislike when Christians quote scripture or texts from the Bible as evidence for Christianity, when the person wants to pray for the non-Christian as part of the conversation and when they are asked to give the reasoning behind their own lifestyle choices or beliefs.
Overall, Christian Gen Z teens do not seem to live in a “Christian bubble.” They exhibit awareness of and even agreement with how their non-Christian peers think and feel about evangelization. They want to have low-stakes conversations for the benefit of their friendships.” Let us use these insights as we reach to young people, and people of all ages.
From another source: 82% of people would come to church if a friend invited them. Only 2% of Christians invite friends.<…> So if everyone in your church invited their closest friend who is not a member of our church, we would DOUBLE THE ATTENDANCE ON SUNDAY MORNING. They know you, they trust you, so please invite them. Their eternal destiny might depend on it.
Excerpts from <> Faith & Christianity<>
in Millennials & Generations<>, Nov. 10, 2021
To God be the Glory
Board of Evangelism