- 90% of pastors work more than 46 hours a week
- 80% believes that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively
- 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job
- 90% feel inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
- Churchgoers expect their pastor to juggle an average of 16 major tasks
- Pastors who work fewer than 50 hours a week are 35% more likely to be terminated
- 25% of of pastors' wives see their husband's work schedule as a source of conflict
- 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse
- 48% of pastors think being in ministry is hazardous to family well-being
These statistics are just a few of the many that are shared in the book. As I look at information like this I cannot help but think that something is broken or out of alignment somewhere.
One statistic that jumps out at me is the one where churchgoers expect their pastor to juggle on average 16 different tasks. Is that pastor Superman? I think one way to go about remedying this is to refocus on the "priesthood of all believers" (cf. Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Exodus 19:6). God has given all believers a Spirit-given gift to use for the primary purpose of building up the body of Christ (i.e., the church; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:26). The role or gift of pastor is but one gift among many and I fear that we have forgotten this and lifted the gift (or vocation?) of pastor to a level that is far above all other gifts rather than seeing them all equally of God for the same purpose. In Ephesians 4:11-13 we see again that the gift of pastor is similar to all the other gifts in that it is to be used to build up other believers. Instead, the pastor today is the "one stop shop" for the local church.
This is something I am trying to gently and subtly press against for the betterment of the church. For example, I do not have any financial prowess or know-how. Our local church just passed the proposed budget that was put forth by our finance team. The members of this team have giftedness with numbers and are local business people. In other words, they know what they are doing. I, as the pastor, just let them do their thing. Now if they had questions, etc. I would chime in, but they planned it and oversaw the process. I was less stressed because brothers and sisters in Christ who had that giftedness handled the task. I know that some might think that the pastor needs to have a key role in this type of process, but I disagree with that line of thinking. If I do not allow others to use their gifts for His glory then I am guilty of not using my gift in the way that God intends, and the whole church can get bogged down in the process rather than built up.
How have any of you seen any of this play out in your own context?