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Pastors say Christians are loyal to politics over faith

Ryan Foley, a reporter for the Christian Post, writes that many pastors have grown concerned over the view that an increasing number of Christians identify more with their political views than their faith. Most pastors thinking about stepping away cite this focus on politics as a reason for their disillusion with the ministry.

Divided congregations are just one of many factors that have driven a record number of ministers into new careers. Other sources of stress for pastors include low pay, attendance concerns, and a lack of volunteers.

Foley continues:

Officials from the Barna Research Group held a webinar Wednesday outlining two trends that reshaped ministry in 2022. One of the trends that reshaped ministry, based on research conducted by Barna, found that “many pastors are struggling, but a majority are staying the course.”

In September, Barna asked Protestant pastors if they had given “serious consideration to quitting being in full-time ministry within the last year.” Thirty-nine percent answered in the affirmative, a slight decline from the 42% who reported that they were considering leaving full-time ministry in October 2021 and an increase from the 29% who said the same in January 2021.

Barna identified “the immense stress of the job” as the leading cause of pastor burnout. Fifty-six percent of pastors who were considering quitting cited stress as a major reason for their discontent. Forty-three percent of pastors thinking of abandoning full-time ministry reported feeling “lonely and isolated,” while 38% pointed to “current political divisions” as a factor leading them to consider a career change.

Barna asked pastors to elaborate on how “current political divisions” have emerged as a source of stress, causing them to consider stepping away from full-time ministry.

Concerns that “regardless of what I do, congregants are dissatisfied with my choices” registered at 17% among mainline pastors and 14% among non-mainline pastors. Exactly one-fourth of mainline pastors insisted that they were “not interested in leading people when it comes to political issues,” as did 17% of non-mainline pastors. Only on the question of whether they faced “pressure to publicly align with a political party” were non-mainline pastors (12%) more likely to answer in the affirmative than their mainline counterparts (5%).

Read full article here.

Image Credit: ©Pamela Reynoso


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