Christian Churches Developing Future Leaders and Volunteers for America

Christianity is on the rise in the United States as evidenced by church attendance, musical charts, social media participation and private schooling.

Pastors across America are doing more to plan for the future leadership in American business, media, government and education for our country.

They start within the church, according to a new Lifeway Research survey of today’s ministers’ needs and concerns.

According to the poll, “developing leaders and volunteers” is at the top of the list of needs among American Protestant pastors, with 77 percent identifying it as an issue that needs to be addressed in their church.

The following needs identified by the survey were identified by the the 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors research project are listed in descending order:

🔹Facilitating connections with unchurched people: 76 percent.

🔹People’s apathy or lack of commitment is 75%.

🔹Personal prayer consistency is 72%.

🔹Friendships and fellowship with others account is 69%.

“The pre-existing challenges of ministry have been exacerbated by COVID, and it’s critical that 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 it will point the way forward in how we partner with them to fuel their ministries and improve their health in a variety of ways.”

🔹68 percent of current leaders and volunteers are being trained.

🔹68 percent of people read the Bible on a regular basis for reasons other than sermon or teaching preparation.

🔹64% of pastors have relationships with other pastors.

🔹64% of people consistently observe the Sabbath.

🔹63% of people are stressed.

“The number and breadth of needs that pastors are currently confronted with is mind-boggling,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “… It is clear that pastors are not looking for shortcuts and take their roles as spiritual leaders in their churches seriously.”

Personal Discipline

🔹61% confessed and repented of personal sin.

🔹59% of the time, “I exercise consistently.”

🔹55% avoid over-commitment and over-work.

🔹55% of the time, “people are challenged in areas where they lack obedience.”

“When asked to prioritize their own greatest need, pastors tend to put the needs of their church’s ministry ahead of personal needs,” said McConnell. “Personally making disciples, developing leaders, connecting with those outside the church and mobilizing the people in their church are the most common ‘greatest needs’ and are among the most common needs pastors want to make a priority.”

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