Barna Group: What People Want in a PASTOR

Barna Group: What People Want in a PASTOR

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The following research is based on the survey of Barna Group, What People Want (1997).

We asked 100 people of the most important qualities of the pastor, and they answered:
1. Makes decisions which are in the best interests of the people, even if those decisions might not be popular (29%)
2. Trains and develop other leaders to help (27%)
3. Strives things in church to be done right (14%)
4. Does not impose his personal opinion (13%)
5. Motivates people to get involved (9%)
6. Negotiates a compromise when there is conflict (3%)
7. Supervises the work of staff people (3%)
8. Manages the day-to-day details and operations of the group they lead (1%)
9. Creates the plans necessary to implement the vision (1%)


  • Tyler Lee Price
    Reply July 15, 2019

    Tyler Lee Price

    What someone my age wants in a pastor (relational-wise) is someone that knows their name and that will talk to them outside of church.

    If a member misses an entire Sunday, it’s likely going to mean the world to them seeing a phone call from the pastor or the pastor swing by their home after church for a short visit to see how they’re doing.

    I recently youth pastored (non-paid) at a church in Cleveland, TN and the pastor didn’t know where I lived, never thought to give me a call when I stopped going on Sunday nights (I started attending an Anglican Church), never communicated with me when he was going to be out of town or away from the church, never let me teach to the congregation when he was away or when an open slot was available (he’d invite evangelists or other pastors to come preach and pay them though they weren’t on staff), and the worst part is that when my wife and my son weren’t there with me on a Sunday morning due to a rough night, he wouldn’t even say hello to me. I was also never allowed to make a single administrative decision as youth pastor. He’d always go to one of the people in the congregation that filled in before I got hired.

    Pastoring is more than making decisions and preaching on a Sunday morning/night. Pastoring is about shepherding the flock. Shepherding entails knowing each of the sheep, making sure that they’re thriving and help them start thriving if they’re not, and they need to be there to lend a listening ear to those within the congregation that may be going through some stuff without having an evangelistic agenda and without making that specific thing Sunday morning’s sermon. People want a person who cares.

  • Billy Armstrong
    Reply July 15, 2019

    Billy Armstrong

    That the graham church of god

  • Reply July 15, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Tyler Lee Price they say ppl come and stay in church for the pastors preaching At least some 80% of them do

    • Tyler Lee Price
      Reply July 15, 2019

      Tyler Lee Price

      Troy Day Yeah, for the older generation that may be true, but that’s also why I think the evangelical Protestant tradition in the recent years has torn the Church to shambles and has produced a generation of Christians who have a faith that is an inch deep and a mile wide. For that reason, a lot of my generation and the upcoming generation simply does not care about the church, nor does it want to be a part of it. I’ve even divorced evangelical Protestantism (Baptist, Church of God, CoGoP, etc.) and moved more toward being Anglicostal (Anglican-Pentecostal hybrid) for that same reason. I haven’t seen a lot of substance in the teaching and the worship has been more self-directed than God-directed. The same people who run the pews and fall on the floor screaming in tongues during “revival” or a “move of God” in a Sunday morning service are often the same people who will demonstrate abhorrent behavior toward their servers in their after-church meal or they will be crude toward their children/co-workers during the week until they hit church on Wednesday, then from Wednesday to Sunday. It makes no sense. They claim to be “born of the Spirit” or “baptized in the Spirit” and there is no outward evidence of it in their daily lives other than speaking in tongues.

      That’s why there’s such a push in the Pentecostal tradition to move toward a more experiential theology instead of a Biblical, historical theology and that absolutely makes me sick.

      Believe me, I am Pentecostal, but I haven’t been able to get behind the Pentecostal church for a while.

      There is also not a lot of fellowship. The Ekklesia is supposed to be a gathering of the local body of Christ. The main reason why my generation has stopped going to church is because of bad fellowship. They’ll greet you when you visit for the first time and may say hello the next few times, but after you start attending regularly, only maybe one or two people will say hello. A lack of intergenerational discipleship and mentorship is also characteristic of the modern church.

      People don’t come and stay for the preaching, they come and stay for the fellowship.

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