Sobering Statistics on Pastors
I read a sobering post from Thabiti Anyabwile this morning over on 9Marks. He gives several statistics on pastors, as compiled in a survey by the Schaeffer Institute. If you have a chance, take a look at the whole post, and the Schaeffer suvey.
Some things that jumped out to me include:
- 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
- 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
- 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
- 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
- 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
- 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.
- 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
Notice these seminary-related stats:
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- 60% to 80% of those who enter the ministry will not still be in it 10 years later, and only a fraction will stay in it as a lifetime career
- 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
- 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
- 26% of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions and felt they were adequately fed spirituality.
So what are we to make of this? Some things for the seminarian to consider:
- You may not be doing ministry for the rest of your life. In fact, the odds are against it.
- Find ways to make yourself marketable in the secular workplace.
- Whether we’re in ministry or not, we should always have professional fallback plans in mind. Lots of people have to leave their jobs unexpectedly.
- Supplement your academic training with hands-on church work.
- Get real about your expectations for your future ministry.
- Make your personal devotional times utterly holy. Don’t trade them in for anything. Cling to the life-giving word of God.