This hurts…on a bunch of levels

according to a recent study looking into the private lives of pastors,  well…let’s just say the statistics are pretty sad:

  • 80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as a pastor
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 80% of seminary and bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first 5 years.
  • 33%  felt burned out in their first five years of ministry.
  • 61%  admit they have very few close friends.

being a skeptic of surveys and studies by nature,  i think we need to be careful that we don’t draw any wholesale conclusions.   never-the-less,  these stats are really disturbing for my fraternity of most holy reverends.

willow creek is one of the biggest of the big-dog churches around.   their answer to this depressing condition?  a seven-week online course where you can be mentored by famous ministers through your computer and join a web-based community of other discouraged pastors…and,  as they say in their promotion“you can finally become the leader you were created to be.”

seems kinda sad that the only hope we have is in a computer.

maybe its time to reconsider the whole pastor thing,  don’tcha think?   maybe there’s something inherently wrong with the system…

and for the record,  i can do other things to make money.   i know how to drive a mean bus.


10 thoughts on “This hurts…on a bunch of levels

  1. Seems to me that Christians need a mighty big wake up call about how much encouragement a pastor needs.
    It also says something about the structure of the church – that there is a big need to build in much better support for leadership.
    And yet as we look at Paul, at Timothy and many of the early church leaders we see that the road of the leader of a church is a heavy one. Perhaps also people need to be challenged about their expectations and ideals when entering into different ministry roles.

  2. Sounds to me like the pastor career is no better than any mid-management job. I have to ask what context this survey was taken.

    For now, I have to say let me get my violin out and play pastors a song.

    Here is my internet Help Web page:

    Tuck in your skirt, finish school, love all, make some friends and get off the pedestal you made for yourself. I’m not going to put a pastor on one.

    What i find the most interesting is the fact I have allowed the “Joe the plumber” type pastor mentor me just as much as pastor slick $1k suit.
    I am learning God’s love not my pastors successes.

  3. I have seen many examples of the good the bad and the ugly in ministry in my short 29 years on this earth. I believe in my heart that carrying the burden of leading a flock was meant for the humble. Those that don’t put their value in material possessions, money, or worrying about what they don’t have or can’t get. Those that find true happiness and success in ministry always have their eye on the right prize, GOD saying “Well done thy good and faithful servant” He always provides for you, no matter what your need, you just have to have faith that he will.

    Get your head out of the prince of the airs world and back to where you belong… Gods kingdom.

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