Though many pastors have pursued racial reconciliation, more have done so through relational means or through prayer rather than through preaching, according to a LifeWay Research study released on Thursday.
When asked, “Which, if any, of the following activities have you personally done in the last 3 months to encourage racial reconciliation?” most of the 1,000 pastors who were surveyed (57 percent) said they “spent time socializing with neighbors of other ethnicities.”
About 44 percent of the pastors said they shared a meal with a small group of people with at least one other person who was of a different race within the last week, while 29 percent said they did so within the last month.
The next most popular method by which pastors encouraged racial reconciliation was leading times of corporate prayer for racial reconciliation (53 percent).
Meanwhile, little less than half of the pastors surveyed (45 percent) said they did so by preaching on racial reconciliation.
It seems that leaders in the church also have not pushed their pastors to preach on the topic, either, as 73 percent of the pastors said they had not had church leaders urging them to preach about racial reconciliation. But 90 percent of pastors said their congregations would welcome such sermons on the topic.
Pastors who were of an ethnicity other than White or African American were most likely to say that their church leaders urged them to preach on racial reconciliation (38 percent).
Along denominational lines, Presbyterian/Reformed pastors (37 percent) and Methodist pastors (34 percent) were most likely to say that leaders in their churches have encouraged them to preach on the topic.