Monday, July 02, 2007

Pastoral Burnout and pastors wife Sobering Statistics

Mark Driscoll posted these statistics on his Acts29 blog. This goes beyond the usual figures about short pastoral tenure. These numbers point to burnout, failure and of pastor's families. The statistics about wives is especially troubling.


  • 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.


mike said...

I've never been a pastor, but I have been in various leadership positions in the corporate world.

I think these statistics would be almost identical for most professional positions...especially leadership positions.

Personally, I think most churches are organized more in the image of an industrial age-ish company than anything. It's to be expected that the level and type of responses would be the same.

I think in general the church should take a hard look at how things are run. Alot of things that are done 'because' really have very little root in Biblical truth, or even necessity.

Tony Kummer said...

I think the main difference is that families are in the fishbowl with the pastor. At a normal job the kids and wife might not have the same level of criticism.