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How Pastors Plan to Improve Their Churches

A new study conducted by the Barna Research Group revealed that pastors are greatly concerned with assessing their churches. What do they plan to assess? Fifty-nine percent of pastors stated that they were definitely going to assess their church’s vision and mission in next year. Thirty-eight percent said they would assess their church’s reputation in the community, and thirty-one percent said they planned to assess the demographic and spiritual needs of their communities.

Interestingly, the study revealed some differences in assessment plans depending on church size. Pastors of large churches (identified as 251+) were more likely than pastors of smaller churches to be concerned with measuring demographics, revamping budgets and increasing giving through consultants. Pastors of mid-sized churches (100-250) were most likely to plan on investing in equipment for children and youth, and upgrading their church’s audio and visual tools.

There were also differences regarding the age of the pastor. Pastors under 45 were more concerned with strengthening technology and media, and those between 45 and 63 were more concerned with fundraising. Pastors who were 64 and older were more concerned with assessing spiritual transformation.

These findings are significant in several areas. Overall, pastors are concerned with the future vision and mission of their churches. Additionally, pastors are concerned with meeting the needs in their communities, and in finding ways to help their churches maintain a positive reputation in their communities. David Kinnaman, president of Barna Research, noted, “In an era of skepticism toward the institutional church, these leaders seem to recognize that the most effective churches are those that are aware of needs and active in their communities.”

What else does this research say to you?

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