Today I will meet with younger men in ministry. Like I was at their age- they are full of vision, ambition, idealism, and a desire to do great things for God. Their energy is contagious! I enjoy hangin out with them. I was very much like that once….once upon a time-long ago.
However, that was years ago before I meet the world, the flesh, and the devil dressed up like deacons! Having preached in hundreds of churches, preached “crusades” in multiple cities, and spent many hours with my fellow ministers- I have pulled in the reins somewhat.
One observation that has alarmed me is the fact that so many preachers are not happy in their job!
Statistics are shocking in this regard. Here are a few:
- 33% felt burned out within their first five years of ministry.
- 23% have been fired or pressured to resign at least once in their careers.
- 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 45% of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout.
- 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
Not a great marketing tool for entering the ministry-right? There are many more negative testimonial stats that would scare most young men away from ministry. The most damaging statistic is that over 90% of those who enter the ministry, will not finish their careers in ministry. Wow! How’s that for a “fall out” rate?
Surely, I have a point to make here- if I can just remember what it is! Oh yah, here it is. Love on your preacher and his family. They need your open acceptance, love and prayers. More than anything ministers need to be mentored along the way. If there is one characteristic of our current generation that dramatically needs changing -it is their resistance to mentoring by the older generation. God’s Word reminds us to honor the “hoary head”(grey haired old goats). The previous generations of ministers have learned from their scars, wounds, and failures. Most of them were not mentored either, but are willing to mentor those coming along behind them. Wisdom comes through living out the Christ- life. The prodigal learned he did not like the pig-pen, but much preferred the Father’s house.
Maybe we men of the pulpit can counsel a few more boys of the cloth along the way. I wish more had mentored me when I was young!