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Your Church's Priorities?

They probably depend on your demographics.

Fewer than half of senior pastors agreed on a single ministry emphasis as one of their church's top three priorities for this year, according to recent research. The priorities pastors set often depended on the size and denomination of the church and the race and gender of the pastor.

The Barna Group surveyed 614 senior pastors and found them focusing on 12 different areas of ministry. Most frequently cited were discipleship and spiritual development (47%), evangelism and outreach (46%), and preaching (35%).

Predominantly white churches were more likely to name discipleship (50%), while black churches ranked evangelism as their top objective (67%). Female pastors more than male pastors targeted discipleship (65% to 46%). And larger churches were "far more likely than smaller congregations to prioritize evangelism and outreach," according to George Barna.

"The magnitude of differences between black and white congregations is very significant," Barna said. "Compared to white pastors, few black ...

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