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New Barna study examines stereotypes of pastors' kids

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The Christian research and survey organization, the Barna Group, has added the study of the proverbial pastor's kid to their long list of studies. The various questions asked of pastors about their children show a comparable statistical field compared to other children.

Forty percent of children aged fifteen and older had gone "through a period where they significantly doubted their faith." This compares with 38% of Millennials over all. These numbers, when broken down into specifics, show that the serious doubts experienced by the children were in higher numbers in mainline churches (51%) and white congregations (43%). On the other hand, the numbers were lower in non-white congregations (25%) and non-mainline churches (37%).

One-third of the pastors would describe their child as no longer active in the church. But 7% would consider their child as no longer part of the faith. This compares to 9% among Millennials.

The reasons for these numbers vary among the pastors' responses. A significant minority (28%) believe unrealistic expectations are part of the problem of their child's struggle with faith. Some (18% ) consider the "negative aspects" of the church to be a hindrance while 17% believe the pastor is too busy to be involved enough. 14% of pastor's polled believe the faith was not modeled enough at home.

When asked about how they would have raised their kids differently, 42% of the pastors wished they had spent more time with their children. Interestingly, 19% had no regrets and would change nothing.

The survey used a telephone interview of a random sample of 603 senior pastors of Protestant churches.

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