Nearly half of US pastors find congregants’ political views a challenge

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A new poll by Lifeway Research has found that almost half of US Protestant pastors find their congregants’ political views and opinions about “nonessentials” a significant challenge in their ministry, Christian Headlines (CH) reports. Congregants’ political views ranked second only to apathy/lack of commitment on pastors’ list of most challenging things to deal with in ministry, the poll found.

The poll was taken of 1,000 US pastors and was published last month, CH reports. According to the survey, 44 percent of pastors find “people’s political views” are a challenge to manage. Moreover, 48 percent of pastors find “people’s strong opinions about nonessentials” a challenge.

Political views were found to be most challenging for younger pastors, aged 18-44 (47 percent). Nationwide, pastors in the Midwest (48 percent) and West (50 percent) were more likely to find political views a challenge than pastors in the South (40 percent), CH reports.

Lutheran (54 percent), Methodist (48 percent), Presbyterian/Reformed (51 percent), and Christian/Church of Christ (51 percent) pastors were more likely to find “people’s political views” challenging than Baptist (35 percent) and Pentecostal (34 percent) pastors, the poll found.

Pastors with larger churches of 250 people or more (49 percent) were more likely to say their congregant’s political views are challenging than those with small churches of 0-49 (38 percent), CH said.

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