Announcing Winner of Drawing from Ministry, Preaching, and Social Issues Survey

Announcing Winner of Drawing from Ministry, Preaching, and Social Issues Survey April 11, 2023

Earlier this year, my team and I conducted a survey entitled “Ministry, Preaching, and Social Issues.” Some of you who read this blog were kind enough to fill out the survey.  So, in this post, I’ll share just a bit of information about the survey as well as announce the winner of the drawing for the free book.

First, thank to those of you who took the time to complete the survey!

We received responses from 1,004 preachers from across the U.S. and from six other countries.  While the majority of the respondents were from mainline Protestant denominations, there were also preachers within Evangelical, Roman Catholic, and other traditions.  Respondents included ordained and lay preachers, seminarians, and retired clergy.  And there was a variety of demographic representation in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, language, age, and political views.  All of this has made for a rich picture of what preaching was like for respondents in 2022 in light of many controversial issues such as the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the midterm elections, controversy over “critical race theory,” and rising incidents of mass shootings, to name just a few.

Survey scope and objectives

This survey was part of a longitudinal research project I began in 2017 trying to understand what preachers are facing in light of this divisive time in our nation’s history. Results of the first survey wave informed my book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red Blue Divide, written to help preachers and congregations navigate the complexities of social issues using biblical, theological, and dialogical approaches. Data from these first two surveys also informed a chapter I wrote in the edited book Unmasking White Preaching. In that chapter, I explored the ways in which white, mainline Protestant clergy are addressing (or avoiding) racial issues in their sermons.

My team and I will be writing a book about the results of the survey waves from 2017, 2021, 2023, and when the time comes, 2025. In the meantime, we are presenting our findings at academic conferences such as the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Academy of Homiletics. I will also share the findings as part of my teaching at Lexington Theological Seminary and in presentations for churches, denominations, and other organizations.  In addition, I’m writing a book about preaching and social issues that will draw on this research.

Over the coming months, I will be writing some pieces here on my EcoPreacher blog on Patheos to highlight the interesting findings from the survey.

Here are some of the topics I’ll be addressing:

  • Clergy stress levels, burn-out, and concerns about church closures
  • Trends in preaching and social issues such as race, environment, guns, and abortion
  • Changes in attitudes and experiences of preachers who address social issues
  • Challenges preachers are facing regarding divisiveness in their congregations and communities

Want to learn more?

If you would like to read about the findings from this survey as they are published, there are several ways you can follow my work and/or receive announcements:

  1. Get updates on my blog by signing up for the newsletter in the far left column of this page.
  2. Follow my author page on Facebook:
  3. Find me on Twitter:
  4. Find me on Spoutible:
  5. Send me an email at indicating that you’d like to receive notifications when pieces about the research are published.

And now for the winner of the drawing!

And the Winner is

Congratulations to Dwight V. Harry, a Certified Lay Minister assigned to Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas.  He will receive a copy of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide.

Thanks again to all of you who filled out the survey.  I am grateful for the time you took to share about your experiences, thoughts, and concerns as you are preaching and ministering in this fraught time.

May God bless your ministry!

Read also:

Clergy Report Preaching More about Climate Change: National Survey

Abortion and the Progressive Church: Is It Time to Break the Silence?

Top 10 Taboo Topics for Preachers 2019

Leah D. Schade, Preaching in the Zone

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and ordained in the ELCA. Dr. Schade does not speak for LTS or the ELCA; her opinions are her own.  She is the author of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) and Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015). She is the co-editor of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Her newest book is Introduction to Preaching: Scripture, Theology, and Sermon Preparation, co-authored with Jerry L. Sumney and Emily Askew (Rowman & Littlefield, 2023).

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