Jul 31, 2018

From the Archives

Pastors Are Seen as a Primary Voice on Poverty

New Barna research shows that pastors’ thoughts concerning the world’s poor are highly valued: a strong majority of the Amerian public (88%), including 92 percent of practicing Christians, trusts the opinion of a pastor when it comes to the issue of global poverty, alongside the opinions of individuals who have worked or lived in poverty and even ranking above the opinions of reporters, academics and politicians.

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In some ways, the trust that the American public places in pastors’ opinions of poverty presents an increasingly rare public platform for ministers: previous Barna research underscores a sort of “cultural credibility crisis” for pastors, showing that just one in five U.S. adults sees Christian clergy as very influential in their community (19%) or as an esteemed voice on important issues of our day (21%). Yet pastors have incredible potential to lead the charge and position the U.S. Church as a powerful force in anti-poverty endeavors—whether they like it or not.

In this infographic from The Good News About Global Povertya new Barna report produced in partnership with Compassion International, we look at how pastors currently perceive and steward their decisive influence on the subject of poverty—a life-saving responsibility.

A strong majority of the American public (88%), including 92 percent of practicing Christians, trusts the opinion of a pastor when it comes to the issue of global poverty.

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About the Research
The data in this report originated from a series of research studies conducted by Barna Group of Ventura, California.

Phone interviews and web-based surveys for U.S. Adults were conducted among a representative sample of adults over the age of 18 in each of the 50 United States. Once data was collected, minimal statistical weights were applied to several demographic variables to more closely correspond to known national averages. Protestant senior pastors were recruited from publicly available church listings covering 90 percent of U.S. churches. Data were minimally weighted to match church characteristics from the National Congregation Study for denominational affiliation, church size and region.

About Barna

Since 1984, Barna Group has conducted more than two million interviews over the course of thousands of studies and has become a go-to source for insights about faith, culture, leadership, vocation and generations. Barna is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization.

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