Pastors' Friendships, Part 2: The Impact of Congregational Norms

Volume 14
Spring 1986
Pastors' Friendships, Part 2: The Impact of Congregational Norms

This is the second of two reports of a study exploring the expectation that pastors would be discouraged from forming close friendships by a €"pedestal effect,"€norms of propriety and antifraternization norms. Data were provided by the pastor, a control layman and 10 or more congregation members from each of 12 Protestant churches. The pedestal effect was considered in our first report. Contrary to expectation, the normative situation was found to be the kind that should encourage rather than discourage pastors in developing close friendships. Even so, no differences were found in the strength or rewardingness of pastors' versus controls' closest friendships. Those pastors perceiving more selective expressions of approval and disapproval on two of five normative dimensions indicated stronger relationships with their closest friends than did pastors perceiving greater overall approval. Possible explanations for the discrepancy between these findings and expectations, based largely on "ministerial lore," are suggested.

Dr. P.H. Wright and Dr. T. Blackbird
29 - 41
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