Saturday, June 16, 2007

the best arguments I've ever heard for the plurality of elders

from Darrin Patrick (via Mark Driscoll)


  • Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
  • Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 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.

Pastors' Wives

  • Eighty percent of pastors' spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
  • Eighty percent of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • 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.


Fajita said...

These numbers are shocking to the point of appearing inflated. Nonetheless, I believe they tell a story, a true story about the church.

It might be easy to say that Satan attacks ministers and pastors more than other people. It might also say that we have made it easy for Satan to make such assaults. Churches may be doing hte work of Satan. We have constructed a religious system that makes it next to impossible for ministers to be spiritual.

Pastor burnout is in large measure a church structure problem. Outsourcing spiritual development to pastors like we do in churches these days is crazy.

Essentially we have placed a person in charge of creating spiritual community in an unspiritual and individualistic culture. When spiritual development and community do not happen, we find the pastor an easy scapegoat.

Church is broken and burned-out pastors are the measure of it.

Stephen said...

WOW! Great comments, fajita.

Groover said...

I also don't believe these numbers. Was there a source on this? If I polled a specific denomination over another there can be a significant increase or decrease of precise categories polled. Numbers like this can be used to manipulate emotions.

That said, I wonder how many pastors are willing to examine the “why” of all these problems. How many are frogs in water boiling to death while at the same time defending their positions ardently? My take is this…our culture has lost wisdom. We have lost the art of discernment and spiritual disciplines. I mean real and true disciplines. The church at large has capitulated to the culture and instead of being the leader, has become the chump co-dependant. The church is so afraid to take a stand on unpopular issues and caters to make people comfortable with its bogus business model approaches to method. If so many are unclear on what they actually believe, how in the world can they live it, and expect others to follow?

I really see many churches today following the diet fads of our times. Instead of following sound nutritional principles, she looks for quick fixes and pompous grandstanding, scared to death to tell people to stop eating so much crap and to tell them the plain truth (assuming they even know it) that a diet of high quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates served throughout the day over 4-6 meals, quitting all sugar and empty starchy carbs leads to weight loss and proper health. There’s more of course, but where are those in the pulpit who are so concerned about the spiritual health of others they will actually take the chance to be…not liked. Oooooo.