Pastor, Don’t Underestimate Your Influence

Published November 17, 2022

WORLD Opinions

One of the most dominant trends I hear right now is pastoral burnout. It’s one of the most common themes confronting current and prospective pastors. Between the roller-coaster of never-ceasing current events that shape the pastoral context and fatigue on dealing with repercussions from COVID, pastors are exiting vocational ministry at an alarming rate.

It may be hard to want to stay in a job that seems to bring so much stress (and sometimes little visible fruit), wondering whether the pastoral voice simply gets lost in the shuffle of so many other voices that are vying for their congregants’ attention.

A new report from an organization I respect, Neighborly Faith, has some encouraging news on this front that should provide pastors with reinvigorated clarity on just how significant their roles are: Pastors really do actually matter in shaping the worldview of their congregation, especially among young evangelicals. Where pastors may be tempted to wonder whether their messages are making measurable impact, the report argues that it is.

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EPPC Fellow Andrew T. Walker, Ph.D., researches and writes about the intersection of Christian ethics, public theology, and the moral principles that support civil society and sound government. A sought-after speaker and cultural commentator, Dr. Walker’s academic research interests and areas of expertise include natural law, human dignity, family stability, social conservatism, and church-state studies. The author or editor of more than ten books, he is passionate about helping Christians understand the moral demands of the gospel and their contributions to human flourishing and the common good. His most recent book, out in May 2021 from Brazos Press, is titled Liberty for All: Defending Everyone’s Religious Freedom in a Secular Age.

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