As Sally & I prepare to leave on vacation, this seems like a good time to say again how much we appreciate First Baptist Harlan. We’ve just completed our second year here and we’re extremely grateful for your love and acceptance of us.
It is a tremendous privilege being a pastor and, in particular, being YOUR pastor! At the same time, being a pastor carries some unique challenges that I had no clue about until I actually became one in 1998. (Had I known, I would have been more supportive of the men who shepherded me prior to entering the pastorate. This is one of my biggest regrets.)
The following statistics were compiled by the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development:
§ The pastorate is the most stressful professional occupation. (“Medical doctor” was found to be the second most stressful profession.)
§ 70% of pastors regularly consider leaving the pastorate.
§ 50% of pastors say they would leave the pastorate immediately if something else were available.
§ About 1,500 pastors per month actually do leave the pastorate for good.
§ Only 10% of pastors will remain in the pastorate until retirement; 90% will find something else to do.
§ 80% of new pastors will leave the pastorate within 5 years.
§ The average pastor works 50-60 hours per week.
§ 70% of pastors have no close personal friends.
§ 50% of pastors will eventually divorce.
§ 75% of pastors will experience severe burn-out sometime during their career.
§ The average pastor receives 3 personal criticisms per week (that’s 156 criticisms per year).
§ The pastor is the only church member who doesn’t have a pastor.
I share this with you, not as a ploy to get your sympathy, but to encourage you to pray for ALL the pastors in Harlan.