I’ve been thinking about you quite a bit lately. It seems that life has been pretty stressful for you lately. Burn out is calling your name and has grown from a soft whisper to a roaring shout in your head. You have tried to be a good pastor, to be a friend, administrator, spouse, parent, community leader, … and more. There have been those moments in your day when you shake your head and say to yourself, “I need to spend some time in prayer, get myself back into a full relationship with God”, but you see the next task in front of you and you put your need aside for “later”. But when is “later”?
Pastor, I’m concerned. I know the burden you carry ~ to be faithful to God’s call on your life, to love the people who disagree with you and attack your family, to keep up with the expectations of denominational statistical charting, and to lead the people God has brought you to. But there is so much more, isn’t there?
Pastor, I am concerned for you. So Pastor, beginning now, beginning this day, I am going to pledge to carry you before the throne of God and into the presence of His mighty grace. Every time I lift my heart or voice in praise of our God or reflect on His holiness, I will intercede and remember you. Each time I thank God for my many blessings, you will be among those blessings I count. Every time I cry out for mercy or for justice or for comfort or strength, your need will also be on my tongue. And each time I bend my knee and ask forgiveness for my transgressions, I will stand in the gap and become a beggar for you.
You see Pastor, you may feel as if you are standing alone on the edge of a cliff called burn-out or a precipice named futility, but God has gone before you and He has called me to stand alongside you and to remind you ~ You are not alone!
Your S.i.C & Fellow Wanderer,
- 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
- 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
- 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.
- 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 75% report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
- 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
- 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged as role of pastors.
- 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
- 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
- 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
- 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
- 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
- 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
- 33% confess having involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church.
- 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
- 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
- 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
- 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.
- 80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.
- 80% spouses feel left out and under-appreciated by church members.
- 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose a different profession.
- 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.
- Moral values of a Christian is no different than those who consider themselves as non-Christians.
- The average American will tell 23 lies a day.
- The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
- 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
- Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
- Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month , many without cause.
- Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
- Many denominations report an “empty pulpit crisis”. They cannot find ministers willing to fill positions.
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastor’s believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.
Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.
- Do we really appreciate our clergy? (barefootpreachr.org)
- A Healthy Church: A Layman’s Letter to His Pastor (barefootpreachr.org)
- Pastoring: A Noble Calling Sometimes Too Easily Entered, Too Poorly Practiced (5ptsalt.com)
- Wednesdays Are For Women: Little Things by Laryssa Toomer (sharpenher.wordpress.com)
- Pastor Appreciation: Saying “Thanks” (marcyda.wordpress.com)