Nearly All Evangelicals Use Christian and Secular Media: Study
American evangelicals are getting their information and entertainment from both Christian and mainstream secular media, a study from Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research found.
Using the National Association of Evangelicals’ and Lifeway Research’s theological definition of evangelical, less than 1 percent of evangelicals say they use no specifically Christian media, and 1 percent say they avoid all mainstream media.
The study also showed that there is a “digital divide by preference” among evangelicals, as some choose online platforms for media and others choose traditional formats like books and magazines.
According to the study, the top Christian media used by evangelicals is radio (60 percent), podcasts (57 percent) and books (58 percent).
Evangelicals said they consume mainstream media through TV (73 percent), websites (68 percent), video streaming (64 percent) and magazines (58 percent).
When asked which media evangelicals used specifically for spiritual purposes – to “receive Christian information, teaching, preaching, inspiration, and/or spiritual growth” – outside of their church and the Bible, the average evangelical uses 3.4 different media. The most common are printed books (43 percent), TV (38 percent), websites (36 percent), streaming video (29 percent), mobile apps (28 percent), broadcast radio (23 percent) and podcasts (20 percent).
“As newer forms of media have emerged, such as podcasts and streaming video, the evangelical population (like the general population) has varied considerably in their willingness to adopt newer media,” the report said.
“And now that we have an explosion of choices, evangelicals are taking advantage of this, varying their preferences according to what they are using the media for.”
Other findings in the survey included:
- The most popular media specifically for spiritual purposes are printed books, television and websites.
- Evangelicals prefer the internet over print for news, information and research.
- For spiritual growth, learning and reading for pleasure, evangelicals prefer printed material over digital.
- Twenty-one percent of people ages 70 and older use only the church and the Bible for spiritual growth.
Photo courtesy: ©Austin Distel/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.