Barna Study Finds Only 30 Percent of Pastors Feel ‘Very Well-Equipped’ to Lead During Coronavirus Pandemic

While most pastors feel “somewhat equipped” to help steer their congregants through the coronavirus pandemic, only a minority say they feel “very well equipped” to lead in the crisis, according to a new study.

Experts examined what it has looked like as American churches have weathered the pandemic and found that only three in 10 or 30% of pastors say they feel “very well-equipped,” to help their congregants through their present mental and emotional troubles, according to recent research by Barna.

The majority, 64% say they feel “somewhat equipped,” while a remaining 6% say they are “not well-equipped” at all to help their congregants with mental and emotional issues.

Barna and research partner Pepperdine University’s Boone Center for the Family recently found that 58% of U.S. adults and 54% of practicing Christians say they have at least one relational, emotional or mental health issue that impacts their most important relationships in Restoring Relationships: How Churches Can Help People Heal & Develop Healthy Connections.

Sharon Hargrave, Boone Center’s executive director, and relationship IQ program director, Kelly Haer, both licensed marriage and family therapists, recently offered some ideas on how church leaders can better equip themselves mentally and emotionally to serve their congregations.

“I have always believed that the Church is a great resource for people to go to receive help with things like anxiety and depression. Though, over the last several years, there’s been some separation [in how we care for people] — professionals deal with mental health care concerns and church people deal with spiritual concerns — and I think we’ve missed volumes of opportunity here,” Hargrave told Barna President David Kinnaman in an interview.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair