Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic

When I read a blog that hits me hard, I put it in a  folder to go back and read it again in a month or so.  If it hits me hard a second time, I share it.  This is one of those blogs.

I feel the need to preface this a bit just to remove any confusion.  I feel confident sharing the info below because it (mostly) doesn’t pertain to me/Suncrest.  I don’t want to be naive or assume I’ll never struggle with some of what is below, but no pity for me is needed or desired.  Jenny and I talk a LOT about how fortunate we are to serve a place as encouraging as Suncrest.

Still, many of my best friends are pastors and at some level all pastors are my friends…even if I’ve never met you.  There is a fraternity-thing here.  And as I read this today, I’m hoping you will pass this post on to your friends who might be oblivious to what many pastors face:

  • 80% of pastors believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
  • 90% of pastors feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the demands of ministry.
  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
  • 85% of pastors said their greatest struggle is dealing with problem people such as disgruntled members, elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors.
  • 90% said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be before they began.
  • 80% of pastors’ wives wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.

There are more stats at Phil Pike’s blog and an extended reflection on the issues that surround them.

For pastors (and even volunteer church leaders feeling some of the same things), there is also a relatively new book out by Anne Jackson called Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic that is getting some great reviews.  Check it out here.



~ by Greg Lee on March 21, 2009.

3 Responses to “Pastors”

  1. hey! thanks for doing your part to help fight mad church disease 🙂

  2. Since a lot of my friends are or have been (proof of point) in the ministry, and having been married to a guy who wanted to be in ministry, I know that these things are so true. I have seen churches do hurtful things, and it breaks my heart. I guess that’s why God has prompted me so often to pray for the church. It’s such a burden on me every time I read statistics like these. I pray always that Suncrest would never become what I call a “dysfunctional” church.

  3. Phil’s post is long, but worth reading.

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