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Statistics on Suffering Pastors

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Suffering Pastors
  • 80 percent believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively.
  • 30 percent say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
  • 75 percent report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis once in their ministry.
  • 50 percent feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
  • 90 percent feel they’re inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands.
  • 80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
  • 56 percent of pastors’ wives say that they have no close friends.
  • 45.5 percent of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
  • 70 percent do not have someone they consider a close friend.
Those in ministry are equally likely to have their marriage end in divorce as general church members.  The clergy has the second highest divorce rate among all professions.

Source:  Pastors at Greater Risk, by H. B. London and Neil Wiseman, quoted in   Leading on Empty, by Wayne Cordeiro
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Categories: Pastors
  1. December 20, 2010 at 9:37 am

    For what it’s worth: Sad statistics, but true. I know if I had been emotionally more whole and emotionally ready for ministry my first ten years of being a pastor would have been much different. I also know that since our “nest” is empty it is easier on both my wife and myself.

  2. December 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

    One thing these stats don’t tell is that when the chief shepherd is under stress this adds to the stress of the rest of the staff.

  3. Steven Sylvester
    December 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    As the statistics imply, the job is not an easy one. I would even consider the percentages on 4 and 5 to be low. Called to mind is Luther’s Sacristy prayer:

    Lord God, You have appointed me as a Bishop and Pastor in Your Church, but
    you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task. If I had
    lacked Your help, I would have ruined everything long ago. Therefore, I
    call upon You: I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you; I shall
    teach the people. I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon Yourr Word.
    Use me as Your instrument — but do not forsake me, for if ever I should
    be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.

  4. December 21, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’ve heard these stats before Lisa — it’s astounding to me, but not surprising. I’ve met so many pastor’s and pastors kids who’ve been deeply wounded by the demands of ministry. It’s really sad to me. I really like Steven’s prayer above. That is so true for all of us.

  5. JLC
    December 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    What duties, in particular, makes a Pastor’s job so difficult?

  6. December 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    What causes these statistics?

    Obviously, there is a spiritual attack dimension.

    Could it be that pastors are trying to fulfill too many of the roles within the Body of Christ?

  7. anaussiepk
    June 17, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Thankyou for posting these stats, really helpful and sad at the same time.

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