We present the results of a phenomenological, qualitative research study in which 13 Southern Baptist (SB) pastors were administered in-depth interviews. The sample was selected from a total of 37 exemplars, identified in the quantitative component of a larger mixed-methods study, regarding the pastors’ perspectives toward relational connection in pastoral ministry. Three themes emerged from the data regarding relational connection in pastoral ministry. First, pastors indicated the need to be intentional about pastoral connection. Second, the pastors stressed the importance of being available to congregants who specifically desire pastoral connection. Finally, the participants related that pastors should give particular attention to connections with lay church leaders.


Humor, Sense of Humor, Leadership, Pastoral Leadership, Leadership Style, Longevity, Leader-Follower Distance, Relational Transparency, Relational Nearness

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