Pastors' approach to race issues studied

Advertisement    Partners    Contacts

Christian Forum
INVICTORY.COM
Christian Resources, Websites, E-cards, Prayer, Video >>
Christian News Search

  News by Topics



      NEWS ARCHIVES  
2018 Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Tour partner: Travel Directions

  Who is reading news now

  Christian News Ticker

U.S. | SOCIETY

Pastors' approach to race issues studied

04/02/2017

Most Protestant senior pastors say their church is open to hearing about racial reconciliation, a study released on March 30 suggests, Christian Telegraph reports according to Baptist Press.

And pastors seem to prefer personal relationships and prayer when it comes to addressing matters of race.

Those are among the findings of a study about pastors, churches and racial reconciliation from LifeWay Research. The survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, found little pushback against or demand for sermons on racial reconciliation in their churches, said Scott McConnell, executive director of the research firm.

"Most pastors appear to be taking a leadership role in encouraging racial reconciliation," said McConnell, referencing the survey that was conducted Aug. 22–Sept. 16, 2016. "Nine in 10 pastors say they recently have done something to encourage racial reconciliation. A majority has been socializing with other races and ethnicities and have led prayer on racial reconciliation, but less than a third have addressed economic inequity or publicly lamented injustice."

Mixed feelings about racial reconciliation

Researchers found most pastors (90 percent) say their church would welcome a sermon on racial reconciliation. Seven percent disagree, while three percent aren't sure.

While 45 percent have preached on racial reconciliation in the last three months, few pastors have been criticized for speaking about race.

Five percent say they'd received negative feedback for addressing racial reconciliation from the pulpit in the last two years. Eighty-four percent received no negative feedback. Ten percent haven't spoken about the topic.

Yet few churches seem enthusiastic about discussing issues of race, according to their pastors. About three-quarters of pastors (73 percent) say they have not been urged by church leaders to preach about reconciliation. About a quarter (26 percent) have been urged to preach on the issue.

Responses varied by denomination. And at times, a pastor's impressions of their church and their church's actions were at odds.

Baptist (92 percent) and Pentecostal (93 percent) pastors, for example, are more likely to say their church would welcome a sermon on reconciliation.

However, they're less likely to have been asked by church leaders to preach on the topic. Only about 1 in 5 Baptist (17 percent) or Pentecostal pastors (20 percent) have been urged to address reconciliation.

By contrast, Presbyterian/Reformed pastors are likely to say their churches are open to sermons on reconciliation (92 percent) and more likely than other denominational pastors to have been urged to preach on the topic (37 percent).

Overall, mainline pastors are more likely to have been urged to preach on racial reconciliation than evangelical pastors (38 vs. 22 percent). Age also played a role in whether or not pastors had preached on racial reconciliation. Pastors age 65 or more are least likely to have preached on racial reconciliation in the last quarter (32 percent) and least likely to have been urged to preach on it (18 percent).

Reconciliation has a personal touch

The LifeWay Research study found that pastors report taking a number of personal steps when it comes to racial reconciliation.

Meals with people from other ethnicities are most common.

Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Protestant pastors say they've had a meal with a diverse small group of people (less than 10) in the last month. That includes 44 percent who say they've had a meal in the last week with a small group that included someone of another race.

About 4 in 10 white pastors (42 percent) say they've had a meal in the past week with a diverse group. So do 52 percent of African-American pastors and 60 percent of pastors of other ethnicities.

The portion of pastors who say they've had a meal with a diverse group in the past week varies by denomination. Baptist (46 percent), Methodist (48 percent) and Pentecostal (50 percent) pastors were more likely, while Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (34 percent) were less likely.

Among other findings about pastors' actions in the last three months:

-- 57 percent of Protestant senior pastors spent time socializing with neighbors of other ethnicities.

-- 53 percent led times of corporate prayer for racial reconciliation.

-- 51 percent discussed reconciliation with church leaders.

-- 45 percent preached on racial reconciliation.

-- 40 percent met regularly with pastors of other ethnicities.

-- 31 percent invested church funds in changing local economic inequalities.

-- 20 percent led a public lament over racial unrest or injustice.

Diversity remains a challenge for churches

Previous LifeWay Research studies have found questions of racial reconciliation and diversity take a back burner at many Protestant churches.

A 2015 report among churchgoers found more than half (53 percent) disagreed with the statement, "My church needs to become more ethnically diverse." Forty percent agreed. Seven percent disagreed.

Two-thirds (67 percent) said their church had done enough to become diverse. That study also found churchgoers who opposed more diversity did so with gusto. A third (33 percent) strongly disagreed that their church needed to be more diverse. More than 4 in 10 (42 percent) felt strongly their church had done enough.

Evangelicals (71 percent) were most likely to say their church was diverse enough, compared to non-evangelicals. And white churchgoers (37 percent) were least likely to say their church should become more diverse, compared to other ethnicities.

A 2014 study found most Protestant pastors believed every church should strive for racial diversity (85 percent) and that "churches should reflect the racial diversity in their community" (91 percent).

Yet most (86 percent) also said their congregation was predominantly one racial or ethnic group.

"It seems like most congregations are eager for somebody else to do the work of reconciliation," said McConnell, referencing the new and older studies, "rather than embrace it for themselves."

For more information visit LifeWayResearch.com or read the complete survey PDF.

Methodology: The phone survey of Protestant pastors was conducted Aug. 22–Sept. 16, 2016. The calling list was a stratified random sample, drawn from a list of all Protestant churches. Quotas were used for church size. Each interview was conducted with the senior pastor, minister or priest of the church called. Responses were weighted by region to more accurately reflect the population. The completed sample is 1,000 surveys. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.2 percent. Margins of error are higher in subgroups.

LifeWay Research is a Nashville-based, evangelical research firm that specializes in surveys about faith in culture and matters that affect churches.

Do you need a prayer?

Your name and country (optional)



* All your prayer requests are sent anonymously to Manmin church willing to pray for your needs
New iPad POLL!

VOTE NOW! Will you buy new iPad?




TAGS: LifeWay Research race relations

[04/02/2017] Print Version

© Reprint is allowed unless source hyperlink is not deleted

PHOTOREPORT

[ christian news ]     [ HTML link ]     [ back ]

Wittenberg 2017 Congress & The Launch of The Finish 2030

Hurricane Irma died out by the prayer of a Korean pastor Dr. Jaerock Lee

OTHER NEWS

PRESS

       BREAKING NEWS  
  Internet-conference    [ all ]
Brother Yun
Leader of house church in China
Serge Velbovets
Owner of the Christian Telegraph
Ad is provided by Google automatically

       PHOTOREPORT  

       AUDIO & VIDEO  

       HOT ISSUE  

       QUOTE OF THE DAY  
Dr. Gilbert Yoonseok Chae, a Korean surgeon, President of WCDN


Copyright © 1999-2018 CHRISTIAN TELEGRAPH. We are not responsible for the content on other sites we refer (if you want to research just visit those sites).
The use in whole or in part of this site content must clearly state as having come from "Christian Telegraph" with hyperlink, not Telegraph nor Christian News etc.

eXTReMe Tracker
The Baptist Top 1000 Christian.com
Social Network
CFS Top Christian Sites Fundamental Christian Topsites LIVE GOD NETWORK