Mainline pastors are more likely than their evangelical counterparts to have been encouraged to preach a sermon on racial reconciliation (38 percent vs. “Which, if any, of the following activities have you personally done in the last 3 months to encourage racial reconciliation?” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research
Other findings about Protestant senior pastors are:
57 percent spent time at social activities with neighbors of other ethnicities. The phone survey by the Nashville, Tenn.-based evangelical firm was conducted from Aug. But they’re less likely to have been asked by church leaders to preach one. “It seems like most congregations are eager for somebody else to do the work of reconciliation,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “rather than embrace it for themselves.”
“Our congregation would welcome a sermon on racial reconciliation.” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research
The vast majority of pastors (90 percent) said their churches would welcome a sermon about racial reconciliation. A new LifeWay Research survey also finds that most pastors have not addressed economic inequities in their communities or joined a public lament about racial injustice. 51 percent talked about reconciliation with church leaders. Similar numbers of Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (92 percent) are likely to say their churches would welcome sermons on reconciliation, but about 1 in 3 (37 percent) have been urged to give one. 16 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. 20 percent led a public lament over racial injustice or unrest. 22-Sept. 22 percent). Pentecostal (93 percent) and Baptist (92 percent) pastors are more likely to say their congregations would be open to a reconciliation sermon. 45 percent preached a sermon on racial reconciliation. 40 percent met regularly with clergy of other ethnicities. 31 percent invested church funds to help change local economic inequalities. A quarter (26 percent) said they have been urged to address the issue from the pulpit. Just 17 percent of Baptist ministers and one-fifth of Pentecostal pastors said they’ve been urged to preach on the subject. But almost three-quarters of pastors — 73 percent — say they have not been encouraged by church leaders to preach about reconciliation. 53 percent led corporate prayer for racial reconciliation. Interest in discussing matters of race varies across denominations, researchers found. (RNS) Close to half of Protestant senior pastors have recently preached on racial reconciliation and more have publicly prayed about it, but few find that their congregations are urging them to address the topic.