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What's on the Minds of America's Pastors

For decades, Barna has conducted research specifically on U.S. church leaders, uncovering what they, and others, believe about their role in the Church, as well as shedding light on their concerns and aspirations for both the local church and the Church in the U.S. In an effort to get a snapshot of the current concerns clergy may have as they enter a new decade, Barna conducted a poll to see how pastors and priests rank some of the issues facing the Church today. We’re kicking off our State of the Church 2020 project with this new study, along with a few findings and statistics from past research to help contextualize faith leaders’ most pressing questions and problems.

Do Christians Consider Their Pastors to Be Friends?

Most U.S. adults hold a positive perception of pastors. In Barna’s 2017 The State of Pastors report, the data showed two out of three U.S. adults (66%) and nearly nine in 10 practicing Christians (91%) viewed pastors’ presence as a benefit in their community, while nearly the same percentage (64% U.S. adults, 87% practicing Christians) had a very positive opinion of a pastor they personally knew. In light of October being Pastor Appreciation Month and October 13th being Clergy Appreciation Day, Barna wanted to shed more light on pastoral perceptions on a personal level, outside of regular church services and events. In this article, we will learn more about those who view their pastor in a role other than church leader—and more specifically, as a friend.

Communication Is Key in Periods of Pastoral Transition

It’s clear that communication is a strong factor in the experience during and success of a transition. Unfortunately, communication with and to congregants is often neglected during transitions. A new Barna report produced in partnership with Brotherhood Mutual, Leadership Transitions, examines how churches navigate pastoral change and stay healthy amidst the shift while offering insight on what and how to communicate during a transition.

Planned Pastoral Transitions Lead to Better Outcomes

Every church inevitably goes through a time of leadership transition. Whether because of retirement, scandal, health complications, a change in calling or some other shift in a pastor’s life or career, churches are bound to walk through a pastoral succession of some kind eventually. A new Barna report produced in partnership with Brotherhood Mutual, Leadership Transitions, addresses this universal reality and examines how churches navigate pastoral change and stay healthy amidst the shift.

Barna: This Week

RVSP now for our State of the Church webcast and have a front row seat to the most comprehensive Barna study on cul… https://t.co/9U2QzPY3lH

@barnagroup • February 25, 2020

FaithView

While it’s true that many churchgoers enjoy gathering with others to worship and are even open to official congrega… https://t.co/eZCvyEcSFB

@barnagroup • February 25, 2020

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