07 Appendix C – Methodologies

Appendix C - Methodologies



The findings of this study are based on surveys of pastors, church staff, and churchgoingChristians.

A total of 249 incoming and 70 outgoing senior pastors completed a quantitative online survey in March and April 2017. These pastors were recruited from Barna’s pastor panel (a database of pastors recruited via probability sampling on annual phone and email surveys) and are representative of U.S. Protestant churches by region, denomination and church size. All respondents were screened to include those who had been part of a senior pastoral transition in the last 5–7 years. The margin of error for incoming pastors is +/- 6.2% at the 95% confidence level and +/- 11.7% for outgoing pastors. Outgoing pastors data is primarily for comparison purposes due to small sample size.

Using the same U.S. Protestant pastor panel, Barna also asked pastors to invite church staff members who had experienced a senior pastor succession in the past 5–7 years to complete a similar online survey. A total of 129 staff members qualified and completed the survey. The margin of error for church staff members is +/- 8.6% at the 95% confidence level.

Finally, a sample of 1,517 church-going, self-identified Christians (18 years and older) were recruited from an online research panel. Respondents were screened to ensure they had experienced a senior pastor transition in the past 5–7 years and completed an online survey about their experience. At the 95-percent confidence level, the maximum sampling error on the practicing Christians survey is +/- 2.5%.

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Appendix B - Notes

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Appendix D - Acknowledgements

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