Barna: Pastors need to look beyond numbers

Friday, December 16, 2016
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

church congregation (rear view)A respected Christian pollster reports that evangelical pastors generally overrate their influence on how their congregants voted in the recent election – and it may be true about more than politics.

Ask theologically conservative pastors who had the most influence – outside of the media – on the outcome of last month's election, and they'd place themselves at the top of the list. Ask politically engaged evangelicals (i.e., SAGE Cons*), they'd rank their pastor fifth – behind unions, President Obama, voter guides, and Christian nonprofits. That's according to data from the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI).

ACFI executive director George Barna has crunched the numbers. "There is quite a gap between how important Protestant pastors thought they and their churches were in the outcome of the election and what the actual experience of voters was," he summarizes.

Apparently that same disconnect holds for more than just the 2016 elections. Evangelicals are telling Barna that they're not being taught how to think about what's going on in the culture.

Barna

"[They're saying] we're not being taught what the Bible says in terms of how to respond to the barriers and the obstacles that we're facing toward trying to have a more righteous and more biblical kind of culture," Barna shares with OneNewsNow. "And yet pastors think they're doing a really good job at that."

Based on his previous research, Barna contends the missing link is in how most evangelical pastors measure the success of their churches. They generally use five metrics: attendance, money, number of programs, number of staff, and building size – none of which, he says, actually has anything to do with the spiritual development of a human being.

"None of that has to do with the reasons why Jesus died on the cross," he adds.

Change that, says Barna, and you unleash the Church. "I suspect that we will not see a dramatic change in [pastors] getting their congregants more engaged with the culture until we change those criteria for success," he suggests.

* SAGE Cons = spiritually active, governance engaged conservatives

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Are you surprised a prominent Democrat is questioning the usefulness of the U.S. Constitution?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Frigid air, high winds cause dangerous travel conditions
Shutdown goes on as Trump offer doesn't budge Democrats
Leftist Kamala Harris jumps into presidential race
Minister says UK faces ‘political tsunami’ if Brexit halted
  Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in Syria

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Big Data meets Big Gov't: New IRS spy software
Women viciously attack black Trump supporter at Women's March
Different races, same boat
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refuses to condemn anti-semitism within Women's March
Prof: White people use ‘cop voice’ to establish ‘racial authority’ over others

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Calif. county ended church services, now allows them

no Bible censor BibleOfficials in a county in northern California have learned a difficult lesson on religious freedom.