Do American Pastors Have a Credibility Crisis?

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A new study has found that the American public’s reaction to pastors is “lukewarm,” with just 24 percent of adults expressing a very positive view of preachers.

Meanwhile, 28 percent have either a “somewhat” or “very negative” view of pastors, according to the Barna Group.

“Most people don’t actively hate pastors,” the polling firm proclaims. “They just don’t really care about them.”

Perhaps the most troubling statistics are embedded in the public’s perception of how much influence they believe U.S. pastors have. While 23 percent of adults said pastors are “not very” or “not at all” influential, 19 percent said they see them as “very influential.”

In the end, though, the survey found that 66 percent of respondents see clergy as having “at least some benefit” to the public at large, with the majority of those who know a pastor personally reporting a positive view of him or her.

“Among adults who know a pastor personally, nearly 2 in 3 regards them very positively,” Barna reported.

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