Good news travels fast. The ongoing digital revolution, the changing landscape of friendship and the seismic impact of the pandemic have had profound implications on evangelism with young adults. Why should we be encouraged? And how might we be more fruitful?

I remember the moment my wife and I posted our first baby scan picture to Facebook. We took a deep breath and hit post’ simultaneously. We joked about who would receive the most likes. There was no contest. She won. Within minutes, hundreds of people had offered their congratulations.

This generation is unquestionably the most connected in history. Even a global pandemic forcing a world into lockdown has only hastened advances in video technology and online learning. This is why we should be encouraged: at key points in history, there has been an expediting of the spreading of the gospel as new pathways open up. 

The construction of the Roman empire’s 250,000 miles of roads enabled Paul and other early church missionaries to ignite explosive, formative church growth. The invention of the printing press put thousands of copies of the Bible and Reformation texts into the hands of everyday people. We live in the central reservation of an ever-expanding, ever-accelerating information superhighway. Good news travels fast.


And we have in our hearts and our hands the most contagious and powerful message the world has ever known. The gospel is good news, not good advice. Hearing it causes hearts to be reunited to their creator, accepting it results in forgiveness for the most wayward soul and receiving it causes the lost to come home and hope to burst from hearts.

And this is a generation in desperate need of hope and home.

So what might this all mean for evangelism to young adults and what can we do about it? Here are four observations and suggestions of how to move forward:

1. Increase the signal strength

Research and experience tell us that the most significant influence to a young adult becoming a Christian tends to be a friend. This makes sense among a generation who are hyperconnected and relationally wired. So a key question is, how do we equip and inspire Christian young adults to share their faith? Few churches (3.6 per cent in one recent study) spend time intentionally training members in evangelism. Investment in this area could bear massive fruit. My book Story Bearer is helping thousands of Christians in this area.

2. Deepen the relational pathways

The disadvantage of hyperconnection is that the quantity does not equal quality. We can have hundreds of Facebook friends but still be desperately lonely. The deeper our friendships and the more authentic we are with one another, the greater the impact of the gospel. As churches, how much are we teaching on friendship and releasing people to grow meaningful relationships with friends and neighbours? Christians really should be the best friends in the world.

3. Grow the network links

Public evangelist Sam Chan tells us a key evangelistic strategy should be to get our friends to become their friends”. There is something so powerful about community in shaping faith and helping non-Christians to encounter Jesus through the love of others. Many young adults’ faith journeys in the years ahead will include a simple invitation into the network and community of Christians. Let’s make sure our communities are ready and welcoming.

4. Intensify the connection to the source

Evangelism and prayer are inseparable. Despite the positives, there is much in the prevailing wind of culture that is hostile to the gospel. But we know a God who does some of his best work when His people have their backs against the wall. The kind of revival we want to see among young adults, for the missing generation’ to become the found generation, can only happen by a major move of God. That is why prayer is essential. We must pray for this age group and encourage them to pray for their friends to come to faith.

Paul, living in the aftermath of the launch party of the Christian church, writes: Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). May his words inspire us to embrace the power of relational connection and compelling beauty of the gospel.

And may good news travel fast to this generation.

This blog is part of 7 Conversations, a suite of interactive, integrated resources for leaders in local settings seeking to understand young adults and bring them into a rock-solid relationship with Jesus.

7 conversations your church needs to have to reach young adults

7 conversations your church needs to have to reach young adults

A suite of resources to help your church reach, engage and disciple 20s and 30s Find out more