Christian Media Becomes Primary Source of Outreach

A recent survey conducted by The Barna Group revealed that a larger percentage of adults is exposed to religious information and experiences through various forms of media in comparison to those who attend church services. Christian media proves to be a primary source of spiritual input for millions of individuals who do not attend church.

The most popular forms of Christian media are radio and television and are followed by faith-related Internet sites and written sources such as magazines, newspapers and books. Nearly half of all adults listen to a Christian radio broadcast at least once a month; and one out of every six U.S. adults listens to Christian radio everyday. Among the monthly listeners, the majority are born again Christians and 28 percent are non-Christians.

Christian radio gets its largest audience from the South where 56 percent listen each month while in the Northeast, only 35 percent tuen in. Those who listen to Christian radio more than the norm are African-Americans, women and people who attend large Protestant churches. The people least likely to listen are Asian-Americans, Catholics and mainline Protestants.

While Christian radio reaches 23 percent of unchurched Americans in a typical month, the total audience has dropped from 56 percent in 1992 to 46 percent today. Results indicate that the loss is due to the decline in listeners among the non-Christians.

The audience for Christian television and publications has remained stable since 1992 with around 45 percent watching Christian programming and 35 percent reading a periodical in a typical month

Faith-related websites have gained a larger audience with one out of every six adults viewing such websites in a typical month.

"Our studies continue to show that people are using the Christian media to provide elements of ministry that are not adequately provided to them by their local church," said George Barna. " ... the faith-oriented media have become the primary means through which the gospel message is presented to non-Christians on a regular basis."