American Christians Are More Likely to Call Their Pastor a ‘Friend,’ Barna Survey Finds


American Christians Are More Likely to Call Their Pastor a ‘Friend,’ Barna Survey Finds

A new study found that American Christians are more likely to consider the lead pastor of their church to be a “friend” rather than a “mentor.”

The Barna Group report, released earlier this month, was called “Do Christians Consider Their Pastors to Be Friends?”

The study revealed that 20 percent of participants said they spoke or regularly met with their pastor outside of weekly worship services and other church events, the Christian Post reports

That 20 percent was then asked to describe the relationship to the pastor with 50 percent of respondents calling the pastor a “friend.”

Nineteen percent said they called the pastor a “mentor,” while 13 percent called the pastor a “counselor” and 11 percent called the pastor a “teacher.”

“Though most congregants surveyed admitted to not interacting with the lead pastor or other church staff outside of church, there is a small, yet significant number of constituents who do—and even regard their pastor as a friend,” noted Barna.

“Exactly half of Christian respondents and churched adults (50% each) call their pastor ‘friend,’ as do 46% of practicing Christians. The lack of difference in percentages across these groups suggests that, while church attendance or faith practice increases the likelihood of getting to meet and know one’s pastor in the first place,…

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