A new study by LifeWay Research found that pastors of larger churches are more likely to invest in counseling and discipleship than smaller churches.
Researchers asked 1,000 Protestant pastors if they had consistent ministry meetings regarding the following: counsel church members, encourage members to step into leadership roles, meet individuals one-on-one to personally disciple them, meet with visitors or new attendees, or lead a small group Bible study.
A large portion of the pastors said they had at least one of those meetings a week, but pastors of churches with over 100 members members were found more likely to meet more regularly.
“On one hand it comes as a surprise that they’re not delegating that, especially something like counseling but at the same time I think they understand as the lead face for the church that people are gonna turn to them in times of difficulty and they’re not neglecting that pastoral responsibility,” Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research told Christian Post. “They are embracing it. A church of 250, 350 people, they’re gonna be a lot more of those needs coming up than a small house church of 25 people and so just doing the math, there’s gonna be more people more often with a crisis with deep questions that they’re gonna need to run by a pastor and the larger pastors are putting that time in,” he explained. “They are being that first line of contact. Even though in previous research we saw that many pastors do try to hand people off in terms of counseling to a professional after a couple of meetings.”
Read more on the report here.