What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


I received a text message the other evening from a friend saying he had resigned under pressure (polite way of saying fired) after 13 years as pastor of the church. The reason that he was given was the strong focus on missions and discipleship. Huh? Seriously? He spoke of the “controllers” who weren’t happy.

Another friend had served more than 20 years and was terminated as pastor late last year. He was told by those who had always run the church, ‘You brought evangelism to our church.’ What did you say?

I had lunch with a third friend, just yesterday and he was asked to resign in December. Once again because of refocusing the life of the church back to discipleship. So what in the world is going on.

It seems to me that the Bible says something about idols, and people becoming like the idols that they fashion. Whose church is it? Whose mission is it? Are we serving up a “have it your way” mentality that produces McChurchlife?

One source states that on average 1,500 pastors walk out of the pulpit each and every month. Of those who remain, 50% are so discouraged that if they could afford to, would leave the ministry now. Depression plagues 70% of our pastors and over half of their marriages will end in divorce. (source; Maranatha Ministries Life line for Pastors)

Why? #1 reason pastors leave the ministry – Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastor’s believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.
(Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.)

Here are some other stats just for information:
* 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
* 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
* 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
* 75% report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
* 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
* 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
* 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
* 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
* 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
* 33% confess having involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church .
* 50% have considered leaving the ministry in the last months.
* 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
* 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
* 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.
* 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.
* Moral values of a Christian is no different than those who consider themselves as non-Christians.
* The average American will tell 23 lies a day.
* The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
* Over 4,000 churches closed in America last year.
* Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
* Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month , many without cause.
* Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
* Many denominations report an “empty pulpit crisis”. They cannot find ministers willing to fill positions.
(Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.)

  1. […] If we are busy, as pastors, it is because we are ruthlessly serving the clamoring ego. We are vain. We have bought into the lie that we are what we produce and that our worth to our congregation is tied to productivity, and therefore we must be conspicuously productive. The allure to become busy, to win the approval of our congregations because of our hard-work and busy schedule is a force that weighs down the pastor like gravity. It crushes the soul, making us into the kind of people who cannot see reality clearly. Busyness will leave us unable to pray, unable to preach from a deep encounter with God instead. The busy pastor cannot be profound, they can only be cute – kitschy. The busy will ruin us and our churches, and it will ruin the busy pastor and his/her family. Look at this list I grabbed from a recent blog post I read: […]

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