Behind Your Pastor’s Smile
Alicia T-Rust

Yes, I am a minister and can attest from personal experience, the experience of my other minister friends, & from sheer statistically, that pastoring is one of the most difficult jobs in the world for a variety of reasons. I can think of at least 6 friends of mine who were in full time ministry and are now out of it completely due to the array of difficulties involved with being a minister. Here are some stats from a variety of sources (I can provide sources if you ask — some are from “The City of Refuge” ministry out of FBC Woodstock, GA & the Schaefer Institute & Focus on the Family):

*1500 pastors across denominations leave the ministry each month due to burnout, forced termination, moral failure, compassion fatigue or marital difficulties.

*50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but they have no other way of making a living.

*80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession

*The majority of pastors’ wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and their family was the day their husband entered the ministry

*Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

*Eighty percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.

— I have around 50 pages of stats and stories that I plan on writing about to make others more aware of this issue. Much must be done by churches, denominations, seminaries and lay leaders to help alleviate this issue. The church is unhealthier due to this issue.