1,500 pastors resign monthly

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TomVols, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    This statistic is often thrown around, yet I see no sourcing for it. Anyone have some backing for this?

    I just wonder about this. That's 18,000 pastors per year. That seems a bit high, but it's not unbelievable. Of course, that's not the same as the number of pastors who leave the ministry altogether. I have some old numbers on that. So if anyone has anything newer, I'd like to see that.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,083
    Likes Received:
    218
    Dont know if this will help, but try this link from Wounded Heart
     
  3. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found it the old fashioned way....I Googled it. :tongue3:

    The statistic is from Focus on the Family and is from 1998. Some other statistics are even older.

    I'd be curious to see if this trend continues. I'm seeing far fewer pastors resign right now, and I suspect it's due to the economy at least in part. If a man can't find another job, his church doesn't look so bad and he'll put up with a lot more. Also, ministerial candidates are dwindling by all accounts, so churches cant just fire the pastor and get 400 resumes by lunchtime tomorrow. In fact, I consulted with a church that said they got 80% fewer resumes for their last pastoral vacancy than the one prior.

    As far as the SBC, I remember this stat: Back in the 1950s, SBs had three ordained pastors for every SB church. In 2020, there will be one SB ordained pastor for every 3 churches. I doubt this, because we see times of economic distress suddenly spike the number of men who suddenly feel called to the ministry all across baptist plains (SBC, IFB, etc.). For years, one local association did not see one single man ordained to ministry. In the past 2 years, 5 have been ordained.

    At any rate, it's an interesting trend that has happened to other denoms and most see it now happening to Baptists. I'd be curious as to the data now.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am in an ass'n of 21 churches, 3 years ago we had 5 churches without pastors. But in the past 18 months, no pastor has resigned or even been fired in the ass'n. So I do think that the economy has something to do with it, which is sad because it may mean lots of guys go to churches and leave churches because of finances not the call of God.

    Our association is different in that 7 of the churches have pastors who have been in their present churches for at least 10 years.
     
  5. BroChris

    BroChris
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is all very interesting to me. Having just completed seminary in May, I went to school with hundreds of others training to become pastors. Upon graduating, many of them could not find churches. There were plenty of churches to apply to, but based on their experience (or lack thereof), they could not find a church that would call them as pastors.

    I, on the other hand, didn't have much of a problem finding a church. Everything, by the will of God, just sort of fell into place. I wonder if it had something to do with having ministry experience at other churches (not as a pastor, but nevertheless on staff). I wonder if it had to do with my expectations (being willing to be bi-vocational if need be, or work for a smaller salary). These things may certainly have played a part, but just as ministers need to think about job and financial security, these things all play into the call of God.

    I guess what I'm saying is, God uses all these things so that his will is done.
     
  6. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I agree that circumstances could be part of God's will, the guy who announces a calling because he can't find a job in my mind is not God's wish for that man (the pink slip calling). Nor is the "altar calling", the call to ministry announced by a person just off of a "rededication". This is why I think seminary and Bible college should be arduous; those who are there for some other reason need to hit the door. Obviously, we cannot discount how God may be working, but we can see examples of how some say they're called and clearly are not. Spurgeon had to deal with it at his college. It's the same at Southern, or Trinity, or Gordon-Conwell or wherever.

    When I was in seminary, I was just coming off the "the best teach, the rest preach" mentality among many. So you didn't have a ton of people seeking churches, but with 30,000 SB churches, there were churches available if you were willing to be bivo or willing to go almost anywhere. Now, you have quite a few PhDs and ThMs who can't find a teaching position who are of necessity now trying to find a church staff position. So I wonder if that's making what you describe.
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    There is an alternative to pastoring. Why not help another pastor in his work through your training by being a vital part in leading and teaching. Every pastor needs trained people to help him.
     
  8. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of the finest pastors I have known were 'second men'.
     
  9. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    I accepted the call in 1988. However, I did not get called to a church until 1996. In that time, I completed my education and served in just about every position possible in the churches that I attended. I lead music, preached, taught SS-Discipleship Training-temporary classes, served on and led committees, worked with youth and RA's, served as a deacon, became a volunteer associate pastor, taught VBS..... When I came into the pastorate I had the seminary education, but more so, I had a practical education that is still paying dividends today.
     
  10. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I resigned my last pastorate in October. There was a problem with certain Biblical principles the board and I disagreed on. They held the constitution and bylaws above the Bible so I had no choice but to leave. Some members left with me (mainly folks who had began since I did there) While pastors may be resigning, we dont all leave the ministry. Some times we move on when we feel led by God to move on. When powerful members want to run the church in opposition to His word, a biblical based pastor needs to correct them and if they refuse correction, he needs to move on.
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Amen to that, John. A local church here may be disbanding due to similar circumstances. The church would not follow what the bible laid out and instead chose to follow their own way, so the pastor, music minister, and youth minister all resigned. Can't say as I blame them at all.

    While I agree that seminary should be a part of all minister's requirements, some (like myself) do not have that option (at least not at this present time). A spit-slinging country bumpkin is one thing, but one who utilizes what education and study options he does have available are another.

    The sad part is that many churches won't look at a man unless he has "x" number of years of pastoring under his belt. We took a chance on a man fresh out of seminary and have not regretted a second of it... but most churches would not even consider this.
     
  12. dh1948

    dh1948
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    In recent years I have spoken to many pastors in the 55-65 age group who have been pastors for decades and are ready to throw in the towel. They are tired of pastoring. They want to remain in ministry, serving in some capacity.
     
  13. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting you mention that age group. I was at a gathering of pastors last night. Among the three or four dozen, only one was under the age of 50. Only three of us were under 60.
     
  14. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you brother for your testimony. This very closely mirrors my own experience. I always tell young men wanting to enter the ministry to get involved...education or no education- if you are called to Christ's ministry, you will desire to be involved. I wish more young people would get this type of experience as it really help us to appreciate/understand the concerns and difficulties faced by the volunteers and staff of our churches in their various tasks. I have often stated that serving as a Deacon has made me a better minister and helped me to appreciate the work God has called them to. Thank you again brother.

    Your bro.
    Crucified
     
  15. Crucified in Christ

    Crucified in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brother,
    Thank you for your words of insight. While I agree that a Seminary education is valuable for any minister, I personally could not call it a "requirement". The only requirements for service as a Pastor are found in the pages of Scripture; while we may consider things that we think are advantageous, I dare say we go to far if we call them requirements.
    As for the thing about spit-slinging bumpkins, I think that they are rarer than many like to portray. Even in the rural areas that I have been in/ministered in, the majority of the Pastors were (while often not Seminary educated) sincere, dedicated, God-fearing men who equipped the congregations God put them over.
    Again, a Seminary education is of great value, but we need to remember that God has also used men in a very powerful way even though they never attended formal training.
     
  16. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Comments

    There is no particular order to these comments.

    1. I counsel and advise a lot of young men going into the ministry, and I make a strong pitch to them to be licensed or certified in some field (teaching, millwright, electrician) so they can weather the ups and downs of ministry--Paul was a tentmaker, you know, and sometimes supported his mission that way.

    2. The reason that so many formerly retired preachers are returning to the pulpit is that the old churches want pastors who fit their mold. These are the 50-50 churches, (50 members all older than 50) or the 20-70 churches (twenty members, all older than 70), or some variation of these. They don't want young pastors because they commit horrible crimes such as preaching from the NAS or NLT, and are not willing to preach a good sensible 20-minute sermon. Those young pastors also encourage minorities to come to the church, so they call the old guys. (In our association, there are men in their '80s pastoring, and a lot of the pastors are 65 or above). Note: there are some older fellows who have it together and are successful at keeping elderly churches functioning.

    3. (related to a thread in the pastoral section), there are a lot of guys graduating from the seminaries who are (1) too conservative for the CBF guys--amen!, (2) too calvinistic for many churches...tough subject, etc.
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    If those churches keep up that kind of self-centeredness they won't need to worry about who they call because all of the people will be gone.
     
  18. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    True, and that is the point. In our association, two or three churches have shut their doors for good in just the past 12 months, while a mission from the church where I am a memberhas constituted in less than 6 months, and two other plants are doing well.

    I am personally convinced that most efforts expended to reform old churches are wasted.
     
  19. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    Seems like what I have experienced over the past 10 years or so is that there are two directions the majority of Baptist churches are heading. Like some have said in here, many churches are comprised of elderly folks that are ardent about KJV only preaching and teaching or singing only from a historic hymnal with no canned music. Then the other extreme is the seeker sensitive approach that weakens the gospel until it's not even the gospel anymore. I've known many good preachers that are very burdened by the lack of love for God from the church. Many in churches today look at the church as their own little social club and they forget why the church is there for. I've seen wonderful sermons preached that should invigorate the crustiest old baptist, but instead the old ones are more concerned about making the buffet line at noon and the seekers are upset because the preacher called them a sinner. No wonder we see many vacancies in the pulpit, maybe God is getting ready to do something BIG?:godisgood:
     
  20. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why so many resignations?
     

Share This Page

Loading...