Here are some findings from Schaeffer Institute research:
“From our recent research we did to retest our data, 1050 pastors were surveyed from two pastor’s conferences held in Orange County and Pasadena, Ca-416 in 2005, and 634 in 2006.
- 100% pastors we surveyed, every one of them had a close associate or seminary buddy who had left the ministry because of burnout, conflict in their church, or from a moral failure.
- 90% of pastors stated they are frequently fatigued, and worn out on a weekly and even daily basis (did not say burned out).
- 89% of the pastors we surveyed also considered leaving the ministry at one time. Five hundred ninety, 57% said they would leave if they had a better place to go-including secular work.
- 81% of the pastors said there was no regular discipleship program or effective effort of mentoring their people or teaching them to deepen their Christian formation at their church (remember these are the Reformed and Evangelical-not the mainline pastors!). (This is Key)
- 77% of the pastors we surveyed felt they did not have a good marriage!
- 75% of the pastors we surveyed felt they were unqualified and/or poorly trained by their seminaries to lead and manage the church or to counsel others. This left them disheartened in their ability to pastor.
- 72% of the pastors we surveyed stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons. This left only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study.
- 71% of pastors stated they were burned out, and they battle depression beyond fatigue on a weekly and even a daily basis.
- 38% of pastors said they were divorced or currently in a divorce process.
- 30% said they had either been in an ongoing affair or a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner.
- 26% of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions and felt they were adequately fed spirituality. (This is Key).
- 23% of the pastors we surveyed said they felt happy and content on a regular basis with who they are in Christ, in their church, and in their home!
- Of the pastors surveyed, they stated that a mean (average) of only 25% of their church’s membership attended a Bible Study or small group at least twice a month. The range was 11% to a max of 40%, a median (the center figure of the table) of 18% and a mode (most frequent number) of 20%. This means over 75% of the people who are at a “good” evangelical church do not go to a Bible Study or small group (that is not just a book or curriculum study, but where the Bible is opened and read, as well as studied), (This is Key). (I suspect these numbers are actually lower in most evangelical and Reformed churches because the pastors that come to conferences tend to be more interested in the teaching and care of their flock than those who usually do not attend.)
[By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir]