Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why do Pastors Leave the Ministry?

I know this is just a list of statistics, but much to our surprise, they hit closer to home that one might realize. The job is harder than you think but I love it so much and I'm not going to be a statistic or let them sway me from my calling in Christ. The NEU mann is always ready to beat the odds. In fact, Scripture clearly says, "All things are possible for him who believes."

As you read these stats, think about all the pastors you know and say a prayer for those in the fight of their life. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood..." I view these statistics as the devil's doing. His pursuit of God's servants is unparalleled, relentless, and intense.

  • 80% of pastors believe the ministry has had a negative effect on their families. Many pastors' children do not attend church as adults because of what they saw the church doing to their parents.

  • 40% of pastors report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.

  • 75% of pastors report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.

  • 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands.

  • 90% say that the ministry is not the same as they thought it would be when they first began to serve.

  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role in the church.

  • 80% of pastors' spouses wish that their spouse had chosen a different profession.

  • 70% of all pastors fight depression constantly.

  • 70% of pastors do not have someone they would consider a close friend.

  • 70% of pastors have significantly lower self image than when they began in the ministry.

  • 50% of pastors starting in the ministry will not make it more than 5 years.

  • 94% of clergy families feel the pressures that face the pastor.

  • 66% of church members expect the pastor to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.

  • The moral behavior of church-going Christians is not appreciably different than those who claim to be non-Christians.

  • The average American tells 23 lies each day.

  • Many Christians get drunk.

  • Christians divorce at the same rate that non-Christians divorce.

  • 80% of pastors' spouses feel left out and underappreciated by church members.

  • The profession of "pastor" is near the bottom of a survey of most respected professions, just above "car salesman."

  • 50% of pastors report feeling so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could but have no other way of earning a living.

  • Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.

  • Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by their congregation each month, many without cause.

  • 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.

  • Research has shown that the #1 reason pastors leave the ministry is that church peopllle are not willing to go the same direction as the pastor feels God is leading.
** These statistics are provided by the Fuller Institute, The Barna Research Group, and Pastoral Care Inc.