Evangelicals and Christian Media
How much do evangelicals use Christian media? Quite a bit, actually, although it tends to represent a minority of the media they consume.
By “Christian media,” we’re referring to media that is specifically Christian – not just clean, inspiring, or “family friendly.”
Among evangelical Protestants who watch television, 76% report watching at least some content that is specifically Christian. Among those who read magazines, 77% read at least some specifically Christian content. Streaming video is at 79%.
And those are the low marks for media. Consumption of Christian content is even more common for those who listen to podcasts (87%), visit websites (91%), listen to radio (91%), and read books (96%).
These are some of the findings from the new study Media Matters: Evangelicals and the Media. This report covers research among over 1,000 evangelicals, conducted by Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts.
(For a free copy of Media Matters, simply e-mail email@example.com.)
The Heaviest Users
Our research also discovered that the heaviest users of Christian media tend to be the lowest-income evangelicals, those who are charismatic or Pentecostal (have personally spoken in tongues), and are more spiritually engaged (read the Bible more frequently and/or attend church more regularly).
Media for Spiritual Purposes
We also explored what types of media evangelicals prefer for specifically spiritual purposes, meaning for the purpose of receiving Christian information, teaching, preaching, inspiration, and/or spiritual growth.
The average evangelical uses 3.4 different media forms for spiritual purposes. The most popular are printed books, television, and websites, followed by streaming video and mobile apps. Just 14% of evangelicals do not use any forms of media for spiritual purposes. They rely only on the Bible and/or church, if they even use those.
While there is considerable variation by age, newer media forms and legacy media forms are used by all age groups. For example, 36% of evangelicals under age 40 use mobile apps, and the youngest evangelicals are the most likely to use this form. But apps have also been adopted for spiritual purposes by 22% of those 55 to 69 years old, along with 12% of those 70 or older.
Similarly, printed books are most commonly used by evangelicals 55 and older (49%). But this format is still used by 36% of the youngest evangelicals.
Preferred Formats for Reading
We also discovered that evangelical media preferences vary substantially according to their purpose. When evangelicals read for pleasure, most prefer the printed page to digital. The same is true when they engage in religious study or learning. But when their purpose is consuming news and information or doing research, most prefer digital over print.
Discover more about evangelical use of media forms in Media Matters. Just e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the free report.
What Questions Do You Have?
And while you’re at it, think about how research like this can address the questions you have about your own organization’s current and potential constituents. Grey Matter Research has served a wide variety of media: television networks and programs, magazine and book publishers, digital developers, radio networks. We’ve helped content producers and media outlets of all types.
How can we help you?
This is really interesting. And surprising!
I think it’s a good sign!
I do wonder, though, if there’s more to it. Are these respondents telling us how much they like their churches because they’re the ones who are still in their churches? Might be interesting to survey people who recently *stopped* participating to see how their sentiments differ. Just a thought.