The Pew Research Center has found that just over half of Americans trust religious leaders to do what's in their best interest.
Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network (APN, americanpastorsnetwork.net), says pastors can increase that trust by preaching truth from the pulpit, especially at a time when parishioners are seeking biblical guidance on a variety of controversial societal issues.
"Why don't more people trust religious leaders?" Rohrer asked. "In my opinion, it's because, in some cases, the truth is not being fully told. A flat-out lie will certainly erode trust, but for many in the pulpit, it's not that they are speaking falsehoods necessarily but may be deceiving their congregations when it comes to the gospel or faith in Jesus Christ as being the only way to heaven. Unfortunately, too many today do not preach the whole counsel of God, as the Bible instructs and as the American Pastors Network encourages."
Rohrer added that those in the pews want their church leaders to speak out on biblical issues and apply these principles to life. A separate study found that although 90 percent of theologically conservative pastors believe the Bible speaks to societal issues, fewer than 10 percent of them are teaching people what the Bible says on these topics. (Read more from the American Culture and Faith Institute.)
"The trust factor, in large part, comes down to this point: If pastors won't speak on these issues, their congregations may wonder what else their pastor is not telling them," Rohrer said. "There's no substitute for the telling the truth all the time, exactly as God has laid it out. After all, that's how He will measure us.
"There's an old phrase that says the church follows the world by 10 steps. The reality is that the failure of the church to lead puts the world about 10 steps behind. The benchmark or standard for everything we do—culturally, in the family, financially or in anything else—is the biblical standard. That's God's standard."
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.