Your Pastor Cares When You Don’t Care

Your Pastor Cares When You Don’t Care AARON EARLS – LIFEWAY RESEARCH for Christianity Today

Apathy ranked as the single biggest pastoral concern in 2022.

Pastors face unique difficulties inherent in their career, but what are their greatest needs? Pastors themselves say they’re most concerned about seeing their churchgoers grow spiritually and making connections with those outside of their churches.

After speaking directly with pastors to gather their perspectives on their ministry and personal challenges, Lifeway Research surveyed 1,000 US pastors for the 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors study to discover what they see as their most pressing issues.

“The pre-existing challenges of ministry were amplified by COVID, and it’s important we lean in and listen closely to pastors,” said Ben Mandrell, president of Lifeway Christian Resources. “This project has shed light on critical needs they have and will point the way forward in how we partner with them to fuel their ministries and improve their health in multiple areas.”

Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, said his team began the study by speaking with more than 200 pastors, asking them to think beyond the current pandemic-related struggles and share some of the enduring needs of pastors and their churches today.

“Their responses to the challenges they face and the areas that are most important for them were then presented to more than 200 additional pastors,” explained McConnell. “Based on those responses, 1,000 pastors were asked about almost four dozen needs to measure the extent to which each is something they need to address today.”

Of the 44 needs identified by pastors and included in the study, 17 were selected by a majority as an issue they need to address.

  • Developing leaders and volunteers: 77%
  • Fostering connections with unchurched people: 76%
  • People’s apathy or lack of commitment: 75%
  • Consistency in personal prayer: 72%
  • Friendships and fellowship with others: 69%
  • Training current leaders and volunteers: 68%
  • Consistency of Bible reading not related to sermon or teaching preparation: 68%
  • Trusting God: 66%
  • Relationships with other pastors: 64%
  • Consistency in taking a Sabbath: 64%
  • Stress: 63%
  • Personal disciple making: 63%
  • Confessing and repenting from personal sin: 61%
  • Consistency exercising: 59%
  • Avoiding overcommitment and over-work: 55%
  • Challenging people where they lack obedience: 55%
  • Time management: 51%

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