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Barna Research Reveals What Pastor's Think of Themselves
By : Craig Brown
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Earlier this year The Barna Group released some research on US pastors and ministers that may have some correlation with their Australian counterparts. While the research was focused on how pastors saw themselves, it may well have shown that many US pastor's have a view of themselves that is either unrealistic, or not geared toward mission. In the research, 61% of pastors admitted they had few close friends. This was highest amongst "Boomer leaders" (aged 41-59) and lowest amongst the "Busters" (22-40). Yet at the same time, 70% of pastors claimed to be "deeply involved in the community". This begs the question: if a pastor has lost the ability to develop close friends, or does not have the time to do so, then what are their skills going be like in deepening their connections with their community? One would assume that having a "deep" connection to the community should result in the development of close relationships. This seems to be the experience of the missional church, as one example.

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Comments / Feedback
Mark Wall
Thanks Craig for highlighting the 'obvious' stats. I'm one of the frustrated, tired of hearing intellectual stimuli and spiritual fuzzies with no evidence of reproductive fruitfulness. I wonder at times whether our 'talk' has more to do with justifying our bias practices and existances or are we responding to what others want to hear to justify their thoughts? Don't worry, I'm asking myself the same questions!!!

Mark Wall
Kadina (SA)
Craig Brown
No problems Mark, I stumbled across this report - slow news days will do that! - and the figures struck me. Not as pastoral arroagnce, but as a sign that many pastors are doing excellently in fulfilling the job designed by their churches...but possibly not the one outlined in the New Testamant and modelled by Jesus. Reflecting on my own pastoral ministry, I know how easy it is to just fulfil the job description.

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