Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Death By Ministry"

Some interesting statistics about and suggestions for pastors in this blog post by Mark Driscoll.

Some of the stats:
  • Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • 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.

A couple of the suggestions:
  • Exercise - Sadly, most pastors and Christian leaders I know are woefully out of shape. Many of them pound their pulpits against rock music and alcohol while their huge gut jiggles in mockery of their own gluttony. ... I find that when I work out, I drop weight, feel better, sleep better, and am better able to lead out of health with energy. The experts say the best time to exercise is in the morning and those who work out early in the day are most likely to remain on an exercise regimen.
  • Work from conviction, not guilt — Conviction comes from God and guilt comes from people. The key to being both fruitful and healthy is to do what God wants and not always say yes to or let yourself be pushed around by people who are demanding and have perfected the art of making you feel guilty if you do not do what they demand.

I've been a regular attender of four different churches in my life, and I have been frustrated by the often apparent distance between the pastor and the congregation. But it usually seems to me to be mostly the fault of the congregation - putting their pastor on a pedestal, seeing them as "Pastor" rather than a brother whom God has chosen to help lead/teach His people. I think we could all do a better job of encouraging and praying for our pastors, and seeking to develop real relationships with them as brothers.

1 comment:

Noah Braymen said...

You know...Driscoll in those quotes sounds a little like a Job's comforter. They are good suggestions, but we have no clue what those statistics actually represent...denominationally...out of how many pastors polled...etc.

To make a stab at pastors that are overweight or against rock music is one thing...but I doubt those two issues are the reason men are leaving the pastorate. Seem to be specks in brother's eyes quite frankly...

Josh, I agree with you though that we do need to support our pastors more...pray for them...and come along sided them in ministry with them.

Good post. I'm digging your blog!

In Christ