Seven in ten pastors (69%) say their members have a “growing sense of fear” about the future of the nation and the world, according to a Lifeway Research study released earlier this month. This number is down from 76% of pastors who said their churches were fearful in 2010.

Male pastors (71%) more than female pastors (62%) agree with this statement: “I believe there is a growing sense of fear within our congregation about the future of our nation & the world.” European American (71%) and Hispanic senior or sole pastors (62%) are most likely to say that their congregants show concern about what lies ahead. African American pastors are less likely to agree that this is the case (42%) and the most likely to disagree (55%).

Pastors leading churches with fewer than 50 members in weekly attendance for worship services are among the most likely to say (72%) the members have an increasing fear about the future of the country and the world.

Of 1,000 pastors surveyed, pastors at non-denominational (75%), Methodist (74%), Baptist (72%) and Lutheran (72%) churches are more likely than Pentecostal pastors (53%) to say that there is a growing fear in their congregation. 

Also, more than three in five (63%) say that members express fear about the future of Christianity in the U.S. and the world, while 36% disagree. Mainline Protestant pastors (40%) are more likely to disagree than evangelical pastors (33%) in this regard.

“Fear not” is a frequent command in the Bible, but most pastors feel churchgoers aren’t getting the message,” Aaron Earls, senior writer at Lifeway Research, wrote.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2%. To view the full report, click here.

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