[anzac] PASTORING - MOST STRESSFUL JOB?? - The Statistics

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:32:30 +1300
ANDREW's NOTE:  If you talk to most pastors, you will find that
they went into ministry with good motives - not merely for money
or a "career", but because of a heartfelt desire to serve the Lord.
Why then has it become one of the most stressful tasks on the
planet for so many? Your comments would be appreciated, my
friends. Below are the sad facts-

by Bill Gaultiere

Pastor stress today is enormous. The expectations that people
put on their pastors today - and that pastors put on
themselves! - are debilitating. Everywhere pastors go they are
expected to be "on" - ready to give stellar leadership, unending
compassion, an inspiring message, anointed prayer, or words of

Yet, like anyone else - perhaps more so because of the nature
of their work and the expectations people have for them -
may become overstressed, depressed, or caught in compulsive
and sinful behavior. Or they may find themselves feeling
spiritually dry, tired of ministry, angry at God, stuck in their
spiritual life, or burned out.

In a Schaeffer Institute study of 1,050 Reformed and Evangelical
pastors every pastor said they had a colleague or seminary friend
who had left their ministry because of burnout, church conflict,
or moral failure.  All 1,050 pastors had at least one fallen

Statistics on Pastors´ Ministry Stress:

o 75% report being "extremely stressed" or "highly stressed" (1)
o 90% work between 55 to 75 hours per week (2)
o 90% feel fatigued and worn out every week (1)
o 70% say they´re grossly underpaid (2)
o 40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once
a month (1)
o 78% were forced to resign and 63% at least twice, most
commonly because of church conflict (1)
o 80% will not be in ministry ten years later and only a fraction
make it a lifelong career (1)
o 100% of 1,050 Reformed and Evangelical pastors had a
colleague who had left the ministry because of burnout,
church conflict, or moral failure (2)
o 91% have experienced some form of burnout in ministry and
18% say they are "fried to a crisp right now"

Statistics on Pastors´ Emotional Health, Family, and Morality

It´s particularly disturbing to see how much pastors are struggling
with emotional pain, family problems, loving well, and moral failures:

o 70% say they have a lower self-esteem now than when they
entered ministry (1)
o 70% constantly fight depression (2)
o 50% feel so discouraged that they would leave their ministry if
they could, but can´t find another job (2)
o 80% believe their pastoral ministry has negatively affected their
families and 33% said it was an outright hazard (1)
o 80% of ministry spouses feel left out and unappreciated in their
church (2)
o 77% feel they do not have a good marriage (2)
o 41% display anger problems in marriage (reported by the
spouse) (3)
o 38% are divorced or divorcing (1)
o 50% admit to using pornography and 37% report inappropriate
sexual behavior with someone in the church (1)

Statistics on Pastors´ Lack of Soul Care and Training

But ministry stress alone does not explain why pastors burnout
emotionally or blow out morally. Other statistics suggest that
many pastors struggle with "professionalizing" their spiritual
lives and failing to care for their own souls under God:

o 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend (1)
o 50% do not meet regularly with an accountability person or
group (6)
o 72% only study the Bible when preparing for sermons or
lessons (1)
o 21% spend less than 15 minutes a day in prayer - the average
is 39 minutes per day (4)
o 16% are "very satisfied" with their prayer life, 47% are "somewhat
satisfied", and 37% are either "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very
dissatisfied" (spending more time in quiet prayer or listening to
God versus making requests was correlated with higher
satisfaction) (4)
o 44% of pastors do not take a regular day off
o 31% do not exercise at all, while 37% exercise at least three or
four days a week as recommended
o 90% say they have not received adequate training to meet the
demands of ministry (2)
o 85% have never taken a Sabbatical.

-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic at the following website-


-Sources of Research Studies and Statistics on Pastors:

All these surveys are of Protestant pastors from a variety of
denominations in America: (1) David Ross and Rick Blackmon´s
"Soul Care for Servants" workshop reported the results of their
Fuller Institute of Church Growth research study in 1991 and
other surveys in 2005 and 2006. (2) Francis A Schaeffer Institute
of Church Leadership Development research studies in 1998 and
2006. (3) Leadership Magazine´s research for their article on
"Marriage Problems Pastors Face," Fall 1992 issue. (4) Grey
Matter Research, 2005 scientific study of pastors from every
city in America. (5) Pastors at Greater Risk by H.B. London and
Neil B. Wiseman, Regal Books, 2003. (6) Focus on the Family
2009 survey of 2,000 pastors. (7) Leadership Journal poll of readers, 2013.

-Article Source-