57% of independent pastors hold Biblical worldview, more than any other denomination

by mcardinal

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News


Nearly three out of five non-denominational or independent pastors hold to a Christian worldview, an alarming number made even worse by the fact that this percentage is the highest among multiple denominations in a recent national survey.

57% of nondenominational pastors currently hold a Biblical worldview according to recent Barna research. This number is higher than evangelicals, 51%, and charismatic or Pentecostal pastors, 37%.

The national average of all Christian pastors who hold a Biblical worldview is 37%. Roman Catholics ranked lowest at 6%, followed by Black protestants at 9%, and Holiness Pastors at 28%.

“While the 40% of all Protestant pastors holding a biblical worldview far exceeds the 6% among Roman Catholic priests, both of those incidence levels are disturbingly low,” said Dr. George Barna, director of the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. His comment averages out the number of evangelicals and mainstream protestant pastors in his comment.

The numbers were released as part of the American Worldview Inventory 2022, which highlights an alarming decline in American belief in the authority of the Bible. The statistics on pastors, however, should concern Christians for the next generation.

Instead of a traditional Biblical worldview, the majority of these pastors hold a view called syncretism, or a compilation of beliefs from multiple sources. This means that a majority of pastors take their moral values from society and other sources outside the Bible.

A more recent release further breaks down the beliefs of pastors based on key statements.

While 90% of nondenominational pastors believe human life is sacred, only 62% of evangelicals, 55% of Pentecostals, and 34% of Catholics agree with this belief.

Regarding salvation, only 71% of nondenominational pastors believe that a person goes to heaven through the confessing of sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. This is in line with evangelical pastors, 70%, but that drops sharply to 64% of Pentecostals and 44% of Catholics.

Meanwhile, a significant chunk of pastors across the board believe that a person can earn salvation by doing good things. 21% of non-denominational pastors hold this view compared to 34% of Evangelicals, 47% of Pentecostals, and 77% of Catholics.

Barna also discovered a direct link between spiritual disciplines, such as consistent Bible reading and prayer, and a Biblical worldview. Those who tested with a high Biblical worldview also had consistent spiritual routines.

“Given that Bible reading is a major source of spiritual nourishment, no wonder so many pastors are spiritually weak and ineffective,” Barna stated. “Add to that their frequent failure to pray, to connect with God through worship and thanksgiving, to spend time seeking God’s direction and will, or regularly returning to Him to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness—it’s no wonder so many pastors struggle.”

The research shows a trend that should be alarming for American Christians. There is a great need for spiritual discipline if the U.S. will ever see another revival that will move public policy closer to Biblical beliefs. That discipline must start with the pastors, who cannot teach what they themselves do not believe or know.