National Survey Says ‘Pastors Are Hurting’ Through Discouragement and Loneliness Factors
One recent survey was conducted and they found out pastors suffer from many things that equate their pain and they have good intentions, though there are many bad examples out in the world.
LifeWay Research conducted a national survey of Protestant pastors and found information on these two factors:
The Discouragement Factor
One of the key symptoms of the pain experienced by pastors is discouragement. Lifeway Research found one of the key symptoms of pain over one-half (55%) of pastors are presently discouraged and in deep discouragement.
The study discovered these facts:
• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the geographical location of the church.
• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the size of the church.
• There was no pattern of discouragement related to the educational level of the pastor.
• There was a significant pattern of discouragement related to the age of the pastor. The younger the pastor, the more likely he was to be discouraged.
The survey also, pointed out another key factor: Loneliness.
The Loneliness Factor
The survey says most pastors experience intense loneliness at times. When they conducted the survey, over one-half again (as noted above) said they were lonely.
Which pastors experience the greatest amount of loneliness? The study noted some interesting patterns:
• There was no pattern of loneliness related to the geographical location of the church.
• Younger pastors were more likely to be lonely than older pastors.
• The larger the church, the greater the likelihood that the pastor was experiencing loneliness.
• The greater the education level of the pastor, the more likely he is to be lonely.
• Spiritual warfare.
• Unrealistic expectations.
• Greater platforms for critics.
• Failure to take time away from the church or place of ministry.
• Marriage and family problems.
• The problem of comparison. (Get more details on these points here).
Thom S. Rainer, Christian Post Guest Columnist says:
This one thing I do know. Pastors need our prayers more than ever. They need our support and encouragement. I am committed to pray for my pastor every day, even if it’s only for a minute or so. Will you do the same? Our pastors pour out their lives for us daily. What can you do to help our pastors?
We can see and understand these points and findings from the survey. For pastors who are doing it right, this is the challenge of doing God’s work. In today’s world we do believe pastors have greater platforms for critics, marital and family issues along with not taking time away from the ministry as much as may be needed. We do feel the problem with comparison should not be an issue. We believe not every pastor will reach millions of people per week through their ministry. This should be noted that God never intended that but to give quality ministry to those they are positioned for. There’s nothing wrong with growth as long as its not ‘money driven’ which probably takes us to why some of the carnal pastors experience discouragement and loneliness.