We should remind ourselves to try not to place unreasonable expectations on the person leading our church.
There’s a lot of data out there saying that pastors are not doing well.
In fact, in the past several years, there’s been data going around insinuating that pastors are miserable, depressed, and ready to leave their positions of ministry altogether.
Truth be told, the data initially came from official sounding places and sources; these websites insinuated that pastors were leaving the ministry in droves to the tune of 1,500 pastors per month. Data collected by these sites also suggested that 77% of pastors surveyed felt they did not have a good marriage, 75% felt unqualified and poorly trained to lead, and 72% said that they only studied the Bible when preparing for sermons or lessons.
There’s no hiding the truth—these figures are pretty bad.
I talked to David Kinnaman, President of Barna Group, and we called these the “pastor doomsday stats.” They’re pretty jarring and they are often cited as coming from Barna.
They did not come from Barna Research.
Or from Fuller Seminary or Focus on the Family (two other often-cited sources).
So, since the data was hard to pin down, we did a LifeWay Research study in September of 2015 and surveyed senior pastors. We sought to investigate the claims made by these “doomsday” stats.
What we found at LifeWay Research based on the data we collected was that these stats were actually quite wrong. As a matter of fact, the assertions made were far from true. According to the results of LifeWay’s survey, a tiny fraction of pastors are leaving the pulpit each year.
The reality is that most pastors are happy in their ministry—they’re engaging and ministering to their congregations with great success and fruitfulness.
This is good news …
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