Here is a book I'd like to read. Maybe I should write it. I'd call it: Pastoral Pain: Living with the Hurt of Ministry
The chapters would be something like:
Chapter 1. The Pain of Being Misunderstood
Chapter 2. The Pain of People Leaving
Chapter 3. The Pain of Lacking Resources
Chapter 4. The Pain of Unfair Comparisons
Chapter 5. The Pain of Standing for Truth
Chapter 6. The Pain of Personal Integrity
Chapter 7. The Pain in the Pastor's Family
Chapter 8. The Pain of Spiritual Warfare
Chapter 9. The Pain of Constant Disappointment
Chapter 10. The Pain of Carrying Others' Burdens
Here are Some Statistics few Christians know (or care) about:
• Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
• Four thousand new churches begin each year, but over seven thousand churches close.
• Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
• Eighty percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
• Fifty percent of pastors think their work is hazardous to their well-being.
• Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
• Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
• Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
• Fifty percent of pastors work more than 50 hours per week.
• Eighty-five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors.
• Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.
• Seventy percent of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
• Fifty-six percent of pastors' wives say they have no close friends.
• Forty-five percent of pastors' wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual burnout.
• For every 20 pastors who enter ministry, only one retires from ministry.
• Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are the president of the United States, a university president, a CEO of a hospital and ... a pastor.
• Congregations expect pastors to wear many hats: CEO, therapist, scholar, teacher, administrator, accountant, fund-raiser, friend of children, preacher, spiritual leader, wedding/funeral presider and house blesser. (I’ll add demon-chaser, hospital chaplain, marriage-mender, child expert, real-estate agent, job-finder, and straightener of chairs.)
• Church members expect their pastor to be on call seven days a week; few churches give their pastor two full days off, thereby losing 52 days of rest that most people relish. They work on holidays — Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving — and never have a three-day weekend. People expect them to have perfect marriages and kids and drive cars and live in homes that are “acceptable”.
• The startling fact is that most pastors are lonely and feel their self-esteem has been lessened, not increased, the longer they are pastors. (I can say whole-heartedly that this is true.)