I recently got the suggestion to make available information about a pastor’s retreat center from Jim Watters. The report Jim sent me indicates why this is worth a conversation on this blog.
What are you doing? What can be done? Any suggestions?
I now reproduce the report.
Statistics from
Pastors at Greater Risk, H B London, Jr., and Neil B Wiseman, Regal Books, © 2003

The American Church
*Churchgoers expect their pastor to juggle an average of 16 major tasks
*Pastors who work fewer than 50 hours a week are 35 percent more likely to be terminated.
*87 percent of Protestant churches have full-time paid pastors.
*50 percent of all congregations in the United States are either plateauing or declining
*Two-thirds of pastors reported that their congregation experienced a conflict during the past two years; more than 20 percent of those were significant enough that members left the congregation
*The typical pastor has his/her greatest ministry impact at a church in years 5 through 14 of his pastorate; unfortunately, the average pastor lasts only five years at a church.
The Culture
*53 percent of Americans say the nation’s moral problems are greater than the nation’s economic problems.
*78 percent of Americans rate the state of moral values in the United States as weak or very weak
*64 percent of adults say that truth is relative to the person and their circumstances
*44 percent of Americans who declare themselves to be Christians believe that Jesus sinned during His time on earth
The Upside – Pastor’s Life in the Church
*86 percent of pastors said they’d choose ministry as their career if they had it to do over
*87 percent of pastors say a strong sense of God’s call is why they chose ministry as a career
*91 percent of pastors feel very satisfied about being in ministry;
*75 percent say they want to stay in ministry
The Downside – Pastor’s Life in the Church
*90 percent of pastors work more than 46 hours a week.
*80 percent believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively
*75 percent report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry
*50 percent feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
*40 percent report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
*40 percent of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.
*19 percent of pastors indicate that they’d been forced out of ministry at least once during their ministry; another 6 percent said they’d been fired from a ministry position
Marriage and Family
*33 percent of pastors confess “inappropriate” sexual behavior with someone in the church
*20 percent of pastors say they view pornography at least once a month
*According to Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries Division, approximately 20 percent of the monthly calls to their pastoral care line deal with sexual misconduct and pornography
*20 percent of pastors admit to having had an affair while in the ministry
*12 percent of pastors say that since they’ve been in ministry, they’ve had sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse,
*51 percent of pastors say that Internet pornography is a possible temptation for them; 37 percent admit that it’s a current struggle
*13 percent of pastors have been divorced
*48 percent of pastors think being in ministry is hazardous to family well-being
*33 percent say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family
*80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse
*58 percent of pastors indicate that their spouse works either part-time or fulltime outside the home because the family need the income
*56 percent of pastors’ wives say they that they have no close friends
*45 percent of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and family is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual burnout
*66 percent of pastors and their families feel pressure to model the ideal family to their congregations and communities
*53 percent of pastors spend time off from pastors’ duties to do activities with their families; *21 percent spend time with hobbies or physical tasks
Longevity/Spiritual Health
*55 percent of pastors indicate that they’re a member of a small group that provides support and holds them accountable
*32 percent of pastors say that reading is the activity that provides sustained renewal in their spirit;
*31 percent say that renewal comes from being alone
*50 percent of pastors say they’d see another pastor if they felt the need fro personal counseling;
*20.5 indicate they’d see no one
*70 percent do not have someone they consider a close friend
*31 percent of pastors indicated that conflict management was lacking in their seminary or Bible college training
*90 percent feel they’re inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
Personal Health
*45.5 percent of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry
*70 percent say they have a lower self-esteem now than when they started out
*57 percent of pastors do not have a regularly scheduled and implemented exercise routine
*56 percent of pastors regularly take off one day each week; 21 percent say that they do not get any days off
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