As if you didn’t need any more reason to pray for those in leadership. These stats have been gathered from Barna and Focus on the Family.
- Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
- Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
- Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
- Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
- Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
- Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
- The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.
(via Mark Driscoll)
Some of this reminds me of a saying:
“Do not marry the church. She already has a Spouse”.
So Shawn – give us a little insight on how you think people in ministry might “build-in” healthy ways of practising their calling? (There, I’ve just given you a big enough quesetion for at least one or two posts!)
Thanks Joe…give me a couple of days to think about this and I’ll get back to you.
What is most interesting is the source of these stats. Focus is to be commended about being honest about the crisis in clergy morale and morality and they have been trying to do something about this for many years.
While belonging to a liberal mainstream denomination in decline is demoralising, the causes of the crisis in clergy morale go deeper (in the soul) and broader (into more conservative and growing denominations).
I look forward to the Captain’s recipe for Clergy Wellness.
Nehemiah 8.10 the joy of the Lord is your strength!
it would be intersting to know what “stream” of the church these stats were taken from or if it’s just the “church” in general? The liberal church probably ruins some of these statistics (morally). Burnout is obviously a more general thing.
given who the stats are gathered from, I suspect that a good percentage of the poll was done among evangelical protestants (which makes up a good deeal of the american christian scene)