Gen Z Wants to Talk about Faith

Barna study shows Christians age 13 to 18 are skeptical of evangelism, but they’re having deep and personal peer-to-peer conversations.

Treyson West doesn’t have a name for it, but if you want to call it evangelism, that’s fine.

He doesn’t think he has a strategy or model for trying to change people’s beliefs, though. He’s just interested in friendship and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

“The big thing is showing somebody what their identity could be through Christ,” says the 19-year-old high school graduate in the suburbs of Dallas. “Everybody is pushing you to be polarized. And ultimately that just pushes you deeper into a sense of not belonging, and Gen Z digs deeper into loneliness.”

That’s why, when West wants to tell a teenager about Jesus, he doesn’t tell them. He listens, and asks questions to get to know them, showing that he cares. And when God becomes real to one of his friends, he likes to point that out.

Recently, West was sitting with a friend in a car in front of the friend’s house, and the friend was talking about his life and struggles and whether he could believe in God. West asked him how he felt right at that moment, talking about God in the car.

“My heart feels, like, warm,” the friend said.

“Dude, that’s the Holy Spirit,” West said. “That’s God, right there.”

The friend accepted Jesus before he got out of the car.

A new Barna Group study, set to be released on Monday, says that West’s approach isn’t unusual for younger Christians. Gen Z believers want to share about Jesus, and they are having deep, personal conversations about their faith with their friends. But they have reservations about the idea of evangelism and are skeptical of evangelistic strategies.

According to Reviving Evangelism in the Next Generation, …

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