Being called to ministry, as Terry Linhart explains, is “a journey of confirmation with others, with circumstances and with opportunities.” For The State of Pastors report, produced in partnership with Pepperdine University, Barna examined individual perceptions of a sense of calling—and, for the most part, pastors remain very assured in their chosen profession. Three in 10 report they are “just as confident” today as when they first entered pastoral ministry (31%), and two-thirds say they are even “more confident” now than then (66%).
What else did we learn about being drawn toward vocational ministry? This infographic details when leaders discerned such a call and some of the life experiences they might have shared before entering this field.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH:
This study was conducted on behalf of Pepperdine University. A total of 900 Protestant senior pastors were interviewed by telephone and online from April through December 2015. Pastors were recruited from publicly available church listings covering 90 percent of U.S. churches that have a physical address and a listed phone number or email address. Churches selected for inclusion were called up to five times at different times of the day to increase the probability of successful contact. The sample error for this study is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, at the 95% confidence level.