A Safe Place for Pastors and Their Spouses Who Are Experiencing Weariness, Burnout and/or Crisis in Ministry
We offer this special podcast as a point of hope and healing for pastors and those who serve in full-time ministry. Serving the Lord full-time in ministry can be challenging.
In this special edition of Fresh Hope for Mental Health for October, Pastor Appreciation Month, Pastor Brad interviews Mr. David Anderson who is the Founder and President of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat.
Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat offers week-long counseling retreats for men and women in full-time ministry who are in the midst of various stages of burnout, stress, depression, and conflicts of all kinds. Each retreat can accommodate up to eight individuals. Our staff includes two counselors, a chaplain, and volunteers who provide outstanding hospitality.
We encourage you to pass this podcast onto your pastor and other ministry staff people at your church.
According to PastorBurnoutStatistics.com:
- 23% have been fired or pressured to resign at least once in their careers.
- 25% don’t know where to turn when they have a family or personal conflict or issue.
- 25% of pastors’ wives see their husband’s work schedule as a source of conflict.
- 33% felt burned out within their first five years of ministry.
- 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations.
- 45% of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout.
- Though I can find no specific statistics (I’m sure they are out there), the pastorate is seeing a significant rise in the number of female pastors.
- 45% of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
- 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
- 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family’s well-being and health.
- 56% of pastors’ wives say that they have no close friends.
- 57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do.
- 70% don’t have any close friends.
- 75% report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear, and alienation.
- 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
- 80% believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively.
- 90% feel unqualified or poorly prepared for ministry.
- 90% work more than 50 hours a week.
- 94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family.
- 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
Yet, LifeWay Research says that pastors are not quitting in groves and offers different statistics and another perspective: http://www.lifeway.com/pastors/2016/09/28/pastors-are-not-quitting-in-droves/
“We have all heard, and perhaps shared, these “staggering” scary stats about pastors who leave the ministry every month. The truth is sometimes worse than myth, but fortunately not in this case.
- The prevailing myth = 1,500/1,700 pastors leave the ministry every month.
- The promising truth = 250 pastors leave the ministry every month.
Also, according to LifeWay, last September, the results of a groundbreaking LifeWay Research survey of 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches found only one percent abandon the pulpit each year. I can think of at least three implications from this groundbreaking research.
According to LifeWay, pastors are not quitters. But, LifeWay also says that while pastors are ‘tough,’ ministry is also ‘tough,’ and pastors need encouragement.”
According to LifeWay Research:
- 84 percent say they’re on call 24 hours a day
- 80 percent expect conflict in their church
- 54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming
After listening to this podcast, we encourage you to email us at info@FreshHope.us with a comment or question that we will share on our next podcast.
If you are listening to this podcast on iTunes, we encourage you to leave a comment regarding the podcast. Or you can leave a voice message for us on the site: www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com
Pastor Brad Hoefs, the host of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, is the founder of Fresh Hope Ministries, a network of Christian mental health support groups for those who have a diagnosis and their loved ones. In other words, Fresh Hope is a Christian mental health support group.
Brad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995. He is a weekly blogger for www.bphope.com (Bipolar Magazine). He is also a certified peer specialist and has been doing pastoral counseling since 1985. Brad is also the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis, which is available on Amazon or at www.FreshHopeBook.com
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