Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Startling Statistics

This is not going to be somewhat of a different blog post for me.  Yesterday I received something in the mail about a retreat for pastors and their wives.  As I began to look through the information I came across some very startling statistics concerning pastors and the ministry in general.  I want to pass this information along because it indicates that something is drastically wrong in our churches today.

I must be honest, I can relate to much of what is said and in some cases I am one of those statistics.  So here we go, below are some very startling, eye-opening, and disturbing statistics about pastors and the ministry.

What Pastors Are Struggling With In Their Ministries

  • 1,500 pastors leave their churches every month in the U.S. because of conflict, burnout, or moral failure.
  • 80% of pastors believe pastoral ministry has affected their families negatively and 33% say that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their families.
  • 82% of pastors in the U.S. said they would leave the ministry if it were financially feasible to do so.
  • 80% of pastors feel unqualified or discouraged in their role as pastor.
  • 80% of pastors spend less than 15 minutes a day in prayer.
  • 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
  • 70% of pastors say the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.
  • 50% of pastors have considered leaving the ministry in the last three months.
  • 40% of pastors report a serious conflict with a parishioner as least once a month.
  • Almost 40% of pastors have had an extra-marital affair since the beginning of their ministry.
  • 23% of all current pastors have been fired or forced to resign in the past.
  • The average pastoral career only lasts 14 years.
  • 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than they do.

Again, as I read these statistics I am struck by this recurring thought, "Something is drastically wrong with this picture."  We must turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to these realities!  It is causing major harm and damage to the cause of Christ.  People must realize that pastors ARE NOT super human or some sort of spiritual giant that does not face the same struggles that they do.  We are only human!  We face the same struggles that our church members face.  We fuss at our children just like they fuss at theirs.  We argue with our wives at times just like other men in the church argue with theirs at times.  There will probably be some pastor out there that will say that I shouldn't be saying these things, but hey, I'm just being honest.

I am not trying to have a pity party for pastors and get everyone to feel sorry for us.  I am trying to get people to see the reality and seriousness of the situation.  As I read through this, I came to the realization that I am a statistic.  What about you?

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