Friday, October 24, 2008

Shocking Stats about your (?) Pastor

I've struggled today with whether or not to post this. However, I've decided it is vital rational for this entire blog. It also explains the reason I have written The Runaway Pastor, and will help many to understand the plot of the book itself. You may read the first five chapters at the following link:

(Note: The following references partially assume that pastors are male. That is not the case in all settings, including in mine. The statistics however are both frightening and vital.)

"Depression and burnout are at epidemic proportions. If this were the case anywhere else in the world, there would be an incredible outcry. The September/October 2000 edition of Physician magazine reported that 80 percent of pastors and 84 percent of their spouses are discouraged or dealing with depression. Forty percent of pastors and 47 percent of their spouses say they are suffering from burnout. The norm among men in our country who are experiencing depression at any given time is about 10 percent. The norm among pastors is 40 percent."

Goodall continues: "To help me understand the role of stress in a pastor’s life, the executive leadership of the Assemblies of God asked me to participate in a 4-year think tank at Duke University called Pulpit and Pew. A book came out of that study entitled Pastors in Transition. I learned the primary reason pastors quit the ministry is conflict in the church. Conflict never goes away. Many pastors do not know how or when to deal with conflict. Conflict constantly hits them like a baseball bat on the head. They say: “I’ve had it. I’m going to do something different.” Unless church conflict is addressed along with the issues of burnout, stress, and depression, and the underlying causes creating these problems, the church will lose more and more of its fine pastors."

(Source: )
Coming Out of the Dark:
Two Pastors’ Journey Out of Depression
With Wayde I. Goodall And E. Glenn Wagner

In my new novel The Runaway Pastor, you can experience life through the eyes of a burned-out pastor. It is my desire to pastors learn to step-away for rest, before they run.

I think it's time this conversation gets a bit more public.

Jump in and comment. What are you thinking?


Anonymous said...

Those stats presented by Pastor Darrin have gone on to be shown to be false.

Anonymous said...

I believe we need to realize that the whole body of Christ is under severe attack. The world is in complete rebellion against God and His Word (written and incarnate)Every American is bombarded with lies from the media and the public square yet this is where we prefer to go for relief instead of to the Lord Himself. Any minister, whether ordained or lay cannot mend the wounds our enemy has inflicted. It is the pure gospel that dis-spells darkness and heals the broken-hearted. It is the Holy spirit, when unleashed in the gospel that fills the person with truth and light. We have all to long leaned on man's ways of doing church, healing, and providing. We need leaders who will not flinch as church numbers wane and building projects crumble. Jesus asked his disciples if they would leave him too. Their response was, "Where should we go, you have the words that lead to life?"
Maybe we need to think about living out and preaching the gospel only, forsake our building projects and programs, and let the Holy Spirit renew our hearts and the hearts of congregations everywhere. The enemy has distracted us, oppressed and opposes us, and we run. Who will stand?

Carolyn Kazen

Zee said...

sometimes i wonder about our pastors over here. i remember my Church in a baby state (i was quite a baby back then as well, but still)... because USSR just have fallen apart, the Good News were taken for what they were: GOOD NEWS! everyone was excited about it. everyone wanted to share. as i look back, i guess we had sort of what the disciples had back in the 1st century. just a family. with problems, yes, but we solved them as a FAMILY. not as an organization where there is a boss, boss' deputy, and so on...

right now, we are getting spoiled as well, at least in Kiev. we live under an information attack (both good and bad), we are presented with soooo many choices that you don't really need...

and i agree with Carolyn Kazen about "Maybe we need to think about living out and preaching the gospel only, forsake our building projects and programs, and let the Holy Spirit renew our hearts and the hearts of congregations everywhere."... building projects and programs and everything else might be good... but not when it distracts us from the main goal: to share Good News and to take care of our own (and that's first of all, our pastors...)...



david said...
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