Crisis In Leadership
The following statistics are from across denominational lines and have been gleaned from various sources, such as Pastor to Pastor, Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, and a few other respected ministries.
- Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their church.
- Four thousand new churches begin each year, but over 7,000 churches will close.
- Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
- Eighty percent of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
- Ninety-five percent of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouse.
- Seventy percent of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
- Fifty percent are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way to make a living.
- Eighty percent of pastors surveyed spend less than 15 minutes a day in prayer.
- Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.
- • Almost 40% polled said they had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first 5 years.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
- Eighty percent of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.
- Ninety percent of pastors said their seminary or Bible school training did only a fair to poor job preparing them for ministry.
- Eighty-five percent said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors.
- Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.
- Seventy percent of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ wives feel left out and unappreciated by the church members.
- Ninety percent said the ministry was completely different than they thought it would be before they entered ministry.
- Seventy percent felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after 3 years of ministry, only 50% still felt called.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
- Eighty percent of pastors’ wives feel pressured to do things and be something in the church that they really are not.
- 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.
AS THE HEAD GOES, SO GOES THE BODY
- Ministries Today reports the divorce rate up 279% in the last 27 years
- An ABC broadcast reports that the divorce rate in the "Bible Belt" is 50% higher than in other areas of the country.
- The Christian-based Barna Research Group reported in January, 2000, that 21% of atheists and agnostics will or have experienced divorce, while 29% of Baptists and 34% of non-denominational Christians will or have experienced divorce. The average rate for all Christian groups is 27%.
These statistics reveal serious problems in the spiritual leadership of our nation. We cannot ignore this and expect the problems to go away. Ministry must be a joy before we can impart life and have effective change on society. We impart what we are, not what we say!
This is why Shiloh Place Ministries (SPM) has given itself to the vision of healing and restoration being brought to spiritual leaders throughout the nations. As the leaders of a nation go, so goes the nation. Seventeen percent of SPM’s income in 1999 went to supporting other ministries that touch the needs of pastors and ministers worldwide. Trisha and I (Jack) want to encourage you to consider supporting (beyond your tithe to your local church) ministries that are helping pastors. Some well-known ministries we would recommend are: Focus on the Family, John Maxwell’s Injoy Ministries, Evangel Fellowship International, Partners in Harvest, Ministry to Eastern Europe, and Elijah House. Let us join together to bless the pastors so that they may be a blessing to us and to the world.
CAUSES OF PASTORAL BURNOUT AND FAILURE
- Entering a ministry position to which you are not called. You are out of your area of grace and gifting and frustration results. (Ephesians 4:7, 11).
- Demonic attack or oppression. (Matthew 26:31).
- God is cleaning up His Church, and beginning with the leaders. (1 Peter 4:17).
- Being motivated by personal need or ambition, and not love. (Ephesians 3:17).
Shiloh Place Ministries has two tape series that will help in this area: "Avoiding Pitfalls for Leaders," and "Confronting the Taskmasters of Your Life."
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