Sunday, May 28, 2006

death by ministry?

Steve McCoy recently posted a link to an article by Mark Driscoll entitled Death by Ministry.

It included these statistics about pastors and pastors' spouses.
- 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.

Pastors' Spouses
- 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 pastor's wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.


John said...

It would be interesting to study the prevelance of certain moral failures in ministry (such as adultery or embezzlement) in relationship to the degree of vigor in the ordination process of various denominations. Given the rigorous demands of UMC candidates, I wonder how we fare out over time in comparison to less demanding denominations.

Jason Woolever said...

that would be interesting. also, after 7 years of working for my credentials, it would be very difficult to get to the point where i could just turn them in and walk away from ministry. i have a friend who is a church of christ pastor. he told me they just lay their hands on you during a worship service and boom, you're ordained. no rigor at all there.

Lon Alderman said...

I read these stats and shake my head (not at the same time cause that might might me sick). I shake my head because my heart is for church leaders that are hurting, but based on the response I've received from the ranks of the clergy in my denomination, no one has any problems. Or is it just me... Why is it so hard for people to ask for help, or even accept it when it is offered?

Jason Woolever said...

denial is part of the problem. denial and the internalization of the problem in an individual make the depression worse. company people learn not to talk, for fear that their honesty might cost them financially or in their career. its really sad, the level of denial in bureaucracies. it breeds lack of trust and demonstrates compromised integrity in my opinion.