Pastor, Don’t Be One Of These Statistics!
I read some statistics lately that floored me. I have heard stories over and over of people called of God leaving ministry and it saddens me. I know many pastors read my blog so I will give you some points later on how to either recover from burnout or avoid it all together. It happens a lot. We as ministers try so hard to be there for everyone else that we often neglect ourselves, leaving us susceptible. Let’s not do this any longer. It is not heroic to neglect ourselves to try to help others. Let’s find balance so we can do and be what we should. Pastors reading this, let’s not be part of these statics.
To me, ministering to people is the most glorious thing in the whole world. To have the honor and privilege of serving God’s people the way we do is a blessing. To watch marriages restored, drug addicts get freed, prodigal children come home, pride be broken, generational curses stopped, wounds of the past healed, and fear lose its crippling grip over people’s lives each week simply blows me away. To think that I, you, get to spend our life helping people reach the King is such an amazing thing. It is so powerful! So why are these statistics so scary?
Because we are in a battle and battles get bloody sometimes; it’s the nature of war. But please don’t let the enemy take you down. Don’t grow weary while doing good. We need you on the front lines. We need you, pastor! We really need you!
If you see yourself in these statistics, please find someone to help you through. If you need to step down to get the help, then honor God and your family by doing that, but please, get the help. Your family needs you. Your church needs you. God needs His generals taking their rightful place in the battle of all time.
By the way, if you are considering entering ministry, you better know that you are called of God and you better know you heard His voice. Not every person called to “pastor” should be the senior leader either. I see that mistake more than any other. Just because you have a pastor’s heart does not mean you are called to run the whole ship. Make sure you are in the right seat on the bus. Being in the right position will obviously lessen the casualty rate for sure!
Ok, so here are the statistics I am referring to.
• 1,500 pastors leave the ministry permanently each month in America.
• 4,000 new churches start each year in America.
• 7,000 churches close each year in America.
• 50% of pastors’ marriages end in divorce.
• 70% of pastors continually battle depression.
• 80% of pastors and 85% of their spouses feel discouraged in their roles.
• 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.
• 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
• 50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way to make a living.
• 80% of pastors spend under 15 minutes a day in prayer.
• 70% of pastors only study God’s Word when preparing a message.
• Nearly 40% of pastors have had an extra-marital sexual affair since entering ministry.
• 80% of seminary graduates who enter ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
• 80% of pastors’ wives feel their husbands are overworked.
• 80% of the adult children of pastors sought professional help for depression.
• 90% of pastors said their training was inadequate for ministry.
• 85% of pastors report that their biggest problem is dealing with abstinent elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors.
• 90% of pastors said the hardest thing about ministry is uncooperative people.
• 70% of pastors are grossly underpaid.
• 80% of pastors’ wives feel unappreciated by the congregation.
• 90% of pastors said ministry was completely different from what they thought it would be.
• Only 70% of pastors felt called of God into ministry when they began.
• Only 50% of pastors felt called of God into ministry three years later.
• 80% of pastors’ wives feel pressured to be someone they are not and do things they are not called to do in the church.
• Over 50% of pastors’ wives feel that their husbands entering ministry was the most destructive thing to ever happen to their families.
According to Shiloh Place Ministries (shilohplace.org), which drew its information from Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, and other respected groups.