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

What happens when educational institutions publicly "repent" of past sins like racism and slavery?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Trump says Interior Secretary Zinke leaving administration
76-year-old Joe Biden, age a factor as he mulls 2020 run
7 civilians, 4 combatants killed in Kashmir fighting
Federal judge rules health care overhaul unconstitutional
Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Trump picks budget head Mulvaney to be next chief of staff
Senators ask FBI to investigate Blackmun for lying to panel

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Despite judge's major ruling, Obamacare will operate as normal
'Yellow vest' protesters take to streets for fifth week as Macron appeals for 'order'
'That was not a Trump interview, it was an infomercial' — CNN's S.E. Cupp brutally rips into Fox News
Report: Feds withholding evidence exonerating Flynn
Potential 2020 hopeful Swalwell declares Trump's days of 'presidential immunity' are over

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

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.