Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Startling Statistics about Pastors

Jeff Gauss who wrote the following was one of my seminary classmates and is a church planter of Epiphany Station in Thief River Falls, MN.

While preparing for a workshop I’m leading at our denomination’s annual meeting, I discovered some startling statistics about pastors (really, they are only startling to those who aren’t pastors).
(Below are just a few of the statistics compiled by the Schaeffer Institute in an 18 year long study from 1989-2007. Read the full report HERE.)
Hours and Pay
  • 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
  • 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
  • 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
Training and Preparedness
  • 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
  • 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
Health and Well-Being
  • 90% of pastors stated they are frequently fatigued, and worn out on a weekly and even daily basis.
  • 80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
  • 71% of pastors are burned out (beyond normal fatigue).
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • Only 23% of pastors report being happy and content in their identity in Christ, in their church, and in their home.
  • 72% of the pastors we surveyed stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons. This left only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study.
  • 26% of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions and felt they were adequately fed spirituality.
Marriage and Family
  • 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
  • 80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.
  • 80% of spouses feel left out and under-appreciated by church members.
Church Relationships
  • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
  • 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within 5 years.
  • Only 10% of pastors will actually retire as a minister in some form.
  • Over 1,500 pastors leave the ministry every month.
  • Over 1,300 pastors are terminated by the local church each month.
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

Click through to read the rest of Jeff's thoughts.

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