Millennial-aged Americans who identify as non-Christian display more interest in spiritual issues than non-Christians from older generations, according to a Barna Group research report.
In a sample of the research released Tuesday, Barna found that 70% of non-Christian millennials reported having at least one conversation about their religious beliefs with a close friend or family member. By contrast, 52% of older non-Christians said the same.
Barna also found that 64% of millennial non-Christians reported having one or more conversations about their beliefs with a Christian, versus 44% for older non-Christians.
“Millennial non-Christians are much more likely to have had one or more conversations about faith than their older counterparts and are twice as likely to express personal interest in Christianity (26% vs. 16%),” explained Barna.
“They’ve also had much more personal experience with all kinds of evangelistic methods than older non-Christians, including through tracts (45% vs. 26%) or encounters with a person either at church (35% vs. 19%) or on the street (30% vs. 16%).”
The findings were part of a larger report titled Reviving Evangelism, which drew its findings from studies of American adults from last year.
One survey included a sample space of 992 respondents who identified as Christian. The other was of 1,001 adults who were not practicing Christians. Both studies had a margin of error of ±3 percent.
In February, Barna posted another sample from the Reviving Evangelism report, which noted that non-Christians who are willing to talk about faith with Christians often do not have their preferences for dialogue met.
Barna found that while 62% of non-Christian and lapsed Christian respondents wanted to talk with a practicing Christian peer who “listens without judgment,” only 34% said that this practice was found among practicing Christians they know personally.
Also, 50% of non-Christian and lapsed Christian respondents said they wanted to dialogue with someone who “does not force a conclusion,” however only 26% said that applied to practicing Christians they knew.
“Not everyone may be ready to go from A to Z in a single conversation, and pressing the topic forward may feel forced to the non-Christian — to the point of turning them away,” said Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research at the Barna Group, in an earlier interview with The Christian Post.
“Allowing the other person to draw their own conclusions leaves open the possibility that they may leave the conversation without making a decision for Christ — by some evangelistic measures, that conversation would be a failure.”