the shape of leadership

1 in 4 Pastors Struggles with Doubt

New leaders at greatest risk, Barna finds

Influence Magazine on May 24, 2017

Spiritual leaders aren’t immune to the temptation of unbelief. In fact, about a quarter of all pastors admit experiencing a period of ministry in which they significantly doubted their faith, according to the 2017 State of Pastors report from Barna Group.

Among pastors who have served their current congregations for three years or less, 34 percent say doubt has been a significant factor in their lives.

Pastors with shorter tenures also report having a harder time pursuing spiritual disciplines, such as prayer and Bible reading. Overall, 47 percent of all pastors say it is somewhat difficult or very difficult to invest in their own spiritual development, compared to 61 percent of pastors with less than 15 years in their current posts and 38 percent of those serving 30 years or more.

When asked to list the spiritual disciplines that were most important to them, those who found it difficult to invest in their spiritual development were less likely to place a high value on Bible reading.

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