1. President of the United States
2. CEO of a Hospital
3. A University President
4. A Pastor
Forty-eight percent of them think their work is hazardous to their family well-being. Another 45.5 percent will experience a burnout or a depression that will make them leave their jobs. And 70 percent say their self-esteem is lower now than when they started their position. They have the second-highest divorce rate among professions.
•80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse and that ministry has a negative effect on their family.
•40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner once a month.
•33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
•75% report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
•58% of pastors indicate that their spouse needs to work either part time or full time to supplement the family income.
•56% of pastors’ wives say they have no close friends.
•Pastors who work fewer than 50 hrs per week are 35% more likely to be terminated.
•40% of pastors considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months.
•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.
As I read this I realized Pastors need encouragement And if no one in the church is assigned to nurture, affirm and prevent burnout for the pastor, then no one will. When they get in trouble, who can they turn to?
Most churches do not give sabbaticals to their pastors even though, unlike college professors and high school teachers, they cannot use the same talk twice.
Most pastors are underpaid. They did not take a vow of poverty. Few have personnel committees who are geared to being their advocate in terms of salary, study leave, bonuses, vacations and remembering their anniversary work date, birthdays or special celebrations, or finding ways to affirm the spouses of whom 25 percent claim the pastorate is a major source of family conflict.
Congregations expect pastors to wear too many hats: CEO, therapist, scholar, teacher, administrator, accountant, fund-raiser, friend of children, preacher, spiritual leader, wedding/funeral presider and house blesser.
Church members expect their pastor to be on call seven days a week; few churches give their pastor two full days off, thereby losing 52 days of rest that most people relish. They work on holidays, Christmas Eve, Easter and Thanksgiving and never have a three-day weekend.
Let me be clear. I am fine and this is not about me. Macedonia is a great church, not a perfect one but practicing and striving to be. They deal with my imperfections so I would be a hypocrite not to deal with theirs, so this article is not about me but it is designed to prayerfully identify with my fellow pastors in the struggle and hopefully, a parishioner might stumble upon this blog and develop a better respect and love for their Pastor.
So give your pastors a hug, a big salary increase, more time off, a pat on the back, and help them. They need it.