The pastoral life is one where you are never off duty. Often families feel the pressure of the 24/7/365 life, as well as the weightiness of the vocation of their father and husband. It is essential that pastors learn to rest. One of our great duties as preachers of the Word is proclaiming the spiritual rest from our works that we may have in Jesus Christ through faith in his atoning sacrifice. Do we work as one's who are in that rest?
Here are statistics that may help you to better pray for your pastor. They come from a 2009 Fuller Report on Pastoral Ministry:
- 90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
- 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
- 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 75% report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
- 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
- 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
- 50% have considered leaving the ministry in the last months.
- 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
- 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
- 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.
- Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
For the record, I serve a very wonderful congregation, but we must be on guard against these pressures and pitfalls. Pray for your pastor.