New Lifeway Research Report Says Increasing Number of U.S. Pastors Believe the Economy is Having a Negative Effect on Their Churches

An increasing number of Protestant pastors in the United States believe that the economy is having a negative effect on their churches, according to a new report by LifeWay Research.

LifeWay released a report on Tuesday which found that a little under a third of surveyed pastors (30 percent) believed that the economy was having a positive effect on their congregations.

This was a decline from last year when 45 percent of pastors said it was positive. The number of pastors saying the economy was having a negative effect increased over the past year, from 14 percent in 2018 to 26 percent in 2019.

The jump from 14 percent to 26 percent represented the first increase in the number of pastors who felt the economy was harming their churches since 2010, according to LifeWay.

African-American pastors are more likely to respond that the economy is having a negative effect (49 percent), as are pastors of smaller churches (37 percent).

“Fundamentally, the U.S. economy is in a similar place that it was a year ago,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, in a statement. “Yet pastors are less optimistic about this outside influence on their church than they were in 2018.”

For its report, LifeWay interviewed 1,000 Protestant pastors over the phone from Aug. 30 to Sept. 24, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski