ever get scared?

20 07 2008

when was the last time you felt the goosebumps going up and down your spine and had one of those “i’m freakin’ out!” moments?

mine came in the form of an old blog entry i was reading tonight.  and when i say old i mean over two years, so back when bloggers were these nuts with nothing better to do.  they have definitely gained “cool” status in the last year since everyone knows someone who is this big blogger.

anyways, got this from TheResurgence, or Mark Driscoll, via PastorHacks.  the following gave me those goosbumps and chills i was mentioning before:


  • 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 pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

i am that recent Bible school graduate.  i am planning on going into full-time pastoral ministry.  in some sense, i am in full-time pastoral ministry right now.  and this freaks me out.

yes there are remedies and there are very practical things that are provided for those in ministry to overcome these problems that we are facing.  but it scares me to know that despite all of that, we still have this happening.

i have my own ideas as to why this is the case, but there are bound to be a great multitude of others who have their own thoughts.  personally, the island that is ministry, specifically being either “the” pastor, or a specific pastoral member, is what i believe to be the leading cause in these struggles of a ministry family.  we have come to believe in the approach to pastoral ministry that catapults the pastor from another church, school, or the general population outside of the church into the pulpit.  do you think this might be different if the pastor came from the actual church he started to serve in?  or if the pastor was no longer viewed as the perfectly righteous and holy one, but as the average Joe that he is, along with everyone else who calls themselves a member of the community?

there’s many reasons why this could resonate with me, and several reasons why it does, but as a guy who is preparing to go into this battlefield, do you think i might get a little on edge after reading that?

don’t get me wrong, the benefits of pastoral ministry and what you get to be a part of is beyond comparison (and i’m going to write about that tomorrow likely), but when you see stuff like this you can’t help but be scared.

so tell me, how do we change this?  or is it possible?