Pastoral Care (from the Other Angle)
These stats, reported by the Resurgence Blog, are sobering:
* 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.
* Eighty percent of pastors' spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
* Eighty percent of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
* The majority of pastors’ wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.
(Sources are Barna and Focus on the Family.)
We would all do well at this point to ask ourselves if we are more tempted to criticize our leadership than we are to encourage them. When you are inclined to "speak up," is it more out of disagreement than affirmation? When was the last time you sent your pastor/teacher/whatever an email, letter, card, or phone call just expressing a simple message of thanks?
What are our churches doing to take care of our pastors and their families?