Our WhyMinistry Is Hard
Ministry Is Hard
Ministry remains one of the last occupations where such a remarkably broad array of functions is demanded and, yet, utterly dependent on relationships with volunteers and their productivity in changing environments.
- Southern California psychologist Richard Blackmon indicates “about 75% go through a period of stress so great that they consider quitting” (Dirmann, T. (1999, January 29). Pastoral pressures test faith; religion: Demands of spiritual leaders leave many suffering from ‘pastor burnout.’)
- Clergy often
abusethemselves with unrealistic expectations, schedules and differed self-care. Ninety percent of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week, hardly the way to prepare for challenges and conflicts among persons in the church.
- Forty percent of pastors report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month. (Cited in Ministry Missing Link, Statistics for Pastors, www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics/).
- Forcibly terminated ministers are more likely to experience negative marital and family satisfaction, have higher levels of stress and more physical and emotional health problems, and consider leaving ministry – than other ministers (MN Tanner, AM Zvonkovic. (2011). Forced to leave, Pastoral Psychology.).
- Overall, clergy and their spouses scored high – and in some cases above the clinical cutoff on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These couples also scored themselves as having experienced mobbing – bullying tactics – prior to the forced termination. (Tanner, Wherry and Zvonkovic, 2012)
Ministering to Ministers provides realistic counsel regarding the challenges of ministry, meaningful response, support in