Saw this old article in the archives of Monday Morning Insight.
Why Young Pastors Leave the Ministry
This post comes from the NakedReligion blog… I find the ten reasons that he came up with to be quite intriguing. See what you think…
There is an epidemic occurring right under the nose of church middle judicatories and no one seems to notice. Young pastors (less than five years in the ministry) are leaving in droves. The Lilly Foundation has poured millions of dollars into “Sustaining Pastoral Ministry” initiatives and it’s too soon to tell whether or not their approach is working. Aside from the obvious reasons pastors leave the ministry (sexual impropriety, financial mismanagement, and marital dissolution) here are the top ten reasons why young pastors call it quits:
1. The discontinuity between what they imagined ministry to be and what it actually is is too great.
2. A life without weekends sucks.
3. The pay is too low (most pastors in my denomination make less money than a school teacher with five years experience).
4. They are tired of driving ten year old cars while their congregations trade in their cars every two years.
5. Many young pastors are called into difficult congregations that chew pastors up and spit them out because experienced pastors know better.
6. Even though the search committee told them they wanted to reach young people, they didn’t really mean it.
7. When the pastor asked the search committee if they were an “emergent church”, the members of the search committee thought he said “divergent church” and agreed.
8. Nobody told the young pastor that cleaning the toilets was part of the job description.
9. The young pastor’s student loans came due and the amount of money he/she owes on a monthly basis exceeds his/her income.
10. Working at McDonalds has alot less stress.
Why do you think young pastors are leaving in the ministry in droves?
1. If you came to the pastorate expecting to make money, you’re stupid….so stop complaining.
2. A 10 year old car? This is all you got? How about being thankful for a car at all!
3. A life without weekends? I look forward to the weekend, so I can worship God with my family (both blood and spiritual)
4. If you’re a pastor and you’re not willing to clean a toilet, look for another job.
5. Less stress at McDonalds? Yeah, but I guess Jesus could have found something less stressful than the cross!
I’m not usually one to get all upset at an article, but seriously….Being in the ministry is tough, frustrating, stressful, full of failure, not lucrative and if you are truly called, you wouldn’t have it any other way! The reason so many walk away…they’re not truly called, or just don’t understand what ministry is about. Hey, young pastors….It’s not about comfort! Grow up! OK, I’m off my soapbox now!