Here’s the shocking truth about the pressures felt by American pastors and clergymen…
The Fuller Institute of Church Growth in a 1991 survey of pastors reported that:
- 80% believe that pastoral ministry affected their families negatively
- 75% reported a significant stress-related crisis at least once a month in their ministry
- 50% felt unable to meet the needs of the job
- 90% felt they were inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
- 70% say they have a lower self esteem now than when they started out
- 40% reported a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month
- 37% confessed having been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church
- 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend
In 1998 Focus on the Family publish the following clergy facts:
- 80% of pastors are discouraged or are dealing with depression
- 84% of their spouses are discouraged or dealing with depression
- 40% of pastors are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules and unrealistic expectations
- 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules and unrealistic expectations
- 1500 pastors leave their assignments each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention within their local congregations
- “We have found that most members of the clergy feel isolated, insecure, and only rarely affirmed.” H.B. London, Focus on the Family
George Barna: (1996 Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators)
- 73% expect clergy to live up to higher standards of moral and ethical conduct than they expect of self or others
- 40% Protestant pastors do not believe that their present church experience is significantly enhancing their relationship with Jesus Christ
- 49% contend that their family life has suffered significantly as a result of the pressures and demands of their ministry
- Average length of a pastoral career is just fourteen years — less than half of what it was not long ago.
- Only one out of seven (14%) pastors rate themselves high in providing leadership for their church
- 3,000 – 4,000 churches close every year
- 95% of pastors do not pray with their wives – Jack Frost
- 10 Southern Baptist Church pastors leave their ministry every month – SBC LeaderCare
- 100,000 pastors are now in burnout – Alan Klaas, Mission Growth Ministries
- Bad behavior of church members is leading cause (80%) of burnout – Klaas
There is no doubt that with the pressures and challenges represented in these studies that the majority of American pastors and clergymen are not fairing well in the ministry. The expectations, insecurities, failure, and isolation are taking their toll on far too many of our servant leaders.
Who is ministering to the ministers? In whom can a minister fully confide–who will give them experienced-based advice they can trust? Where can a minister turn in a time of crisis and/or failure? Who can graciously bring healing to the deep wounds sustained by so many in the ministry? It necessary, who can provide appropriate accountability and mentoring if needed?
By God’s grace, RWM has proven to be one such source of ministerial counsel. Ron and a number of his ministerial colleagues are experienced, capable, and available to provide confidential counseling to those servants of the Lord who find themselves in a time of trouble or perplexity. If you are a minister in need or know of one RWM stands ready to assist.
“In a time of trouble he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock…Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me…Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; for you have been my helper.” (Psalm 27:5, 7, 9)
Let the Lord be magnified!