How many?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor Gary, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Pastor Gary

    Pastor Gary
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    Does anyone out there have any idea how many Baptist preachers are without a church and how many Baptist churches are without pastors?

    I was just at churchstaffing.com and in their August 19th, 2003 newsletter they report the following:

    “Each month, it is estimated that over 1500 pastors leave the ministry. That's every month!”

    I assume that they are including all denominations in their number.

    Do you think that this is an accurate statement? It seems high to me.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Seems LOW to me.

    Remember, 1/2 of the missionaries presently on a foreign field will be 65+ before 2010. They will quickly retire; they've served their time.

    The whole baby boom generation begins to hit 65 in 2010.

    I love to preach, but pastoring is hard. Cannot imagine many men hitting 65 and saying "Hey, let's keep on until we die". Lots of demand for pulpit supply, interim, etc, WITHOUT the hardship of pastoring.
     
  3. Circuitrider

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    We probably have close to 15 ifb churches open in Wisconsin right now. If you added the other denoms it would be quite a few more. Many other states have a much higher percentage of ifb churches than we do, so that might give you an idea of a potential estimate of ifb churches that are open. [​IMG]
     
  4. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    My pastor is 62 and still a kickin! Praise God for him, cause I was saved indirectly from his ministry.
    I actualy thought by looking at those statistics that it was extremly high! Are they retiring, or quiting or what?
    We need more men of God who will preach the Word of God, and I think now more than ever, so were are all these preachers going? I can understand them dying, or too sick to do it any longer, but why else would they leave the ministry?
    ~Miss Abby
    Proverbs 31:30 KJB [​IMG]
     
  5. gb93433

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    http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0%2C1703%2CA%253D150897%2526M%253D200005%2C00.htmlstated that 6,000 Southern Baptist pastors leave their ministries each year. Over 200 pastors are fired each month. There are 70,000 vacant pulpits in America.

    The SBC claims somewhat over 40,000 churches. It is rather common to have about 10 percent of the churches at any given time without pastors.

    I am one of those who left the pastorate because I realized that I have actually discipled more people each year when I wasn't pastoring than when I was. When I don't pastor I only deal with those who are serious and want to do ministry. I have never had one complainer in the 30 years I have been discipling others. There is no comparison between those who walk with God and are discipling others than those who just warm the pews.

    I got so sick of hearing church leaders who wanted a church but were unwilling to pay the price to win souls and disciple others. If we are not about winning people to Christ then what else are we about?
     
  6. GODzThunder

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    The associational missionary for the SBC in the area where I live once made a statement of how all of the Churches in his area have a pastor in them (including full time pastors and interim pastors). He made this statement because for over ten years there has at some point in the many Churches in the Association been a Church without a full time or even for now full time interim pastor. Of course this has changed and there are many Churches without any pastor at all. In this association in the smaller "traditional style" churches a pastor will be hired, then be voted out within two years and will jump to another Church in the area. I know a pastor who jumped to three churches in that association in just four years. that is just the SBC churches, with that said adding all other denom's yes, yes I do believe that is true across this country alone!
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    It seems high but I haven't really thought about it so I don't have an informed opinion. I do however have somewhat of an informed opinion on two other matters mentioned here. As for Abby's "Why would they leave?" The answer is because at a certain age, you can no longer keep up with the ministry. Many people think it is just preaching 3 or 4 times a week (as if "just" can be added on teh front of that). It is a tough job and much more consuming than most other jobs. It is not something you can leave at night. You carry it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At a point in life, it becomes too much to keep up with.

    As for GB comments on discipling others, I have come to the conclusion in my short ministry that a pastor needs to be actively discipling only 3 to 4 people on a regular basis. He should invest everything he has in those 3 to 4 people to train leaders who can then multiply his ministry with others. Too many people get spread too thin. The success of discipleship is not measured in numbers but in depth. I have heard several older pastors say if they had to do it all over agian, they would pour themselves into 3 or 4 people rather than more.
     
  8. TomVols

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    I don't know about 1500 a month leaving ministry. I do know it's very high. I do know that mainline denominations are having a huge clergy shortage, and that is seeping into Baptist life.

    Go to your local IFB preacher's fellowship or SB association meeting. Most of the men have gray hair.

    Churches are killing preachers who preach the Word and desire reformation. So they're wounded soldiers leaving the battle.

    Result? Not enough pastors to go around. Which is why many churches are beginning to merge in the free church traditions, and the mainlines are beginning to cross-ordain.
     
  9. TomVols

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    Abby,
    62 isn't that old! Our association has several pastors way over that age. Your pastor isn't even close to retiring. Then again, as was pointed out, pastoring is extraordinarily hard work. Preaching a 30 minute sermon is equal to 8 hours of continuous physical lifting. Most preachers preach 2-3 times a week, if not more. Add on top of that the 12-14 hour days, being on call 24/7/365, the financial strain, etc., and you have a lot of burdens that some people just can keep up with at 75 years of age. Heck, I'm in my 30s and it wears on me! :D Thank God for His calling, though. [​IMG]
     
  10. gb93433

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    I agree. That is exactly what I do. If you reach 3 or 4 each year you will have reached more than the size of most churches. The reason being is that those you reach will go on and reach others. They become reproducers.

    When I am not pastoring I am able to meet with more because I don't have to deal with politics and programs.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    WB Riley was a great Baptist fundamentalist. He was quite elderly in his last days in the late 40's. He made some very poor decisions, affected by his years, including turning over his ministry to young Billy Graham (who ruined or closed it in a few years).

    RV Clearwaters, heir to being a IFB leader in the north, lamented "One step past ripe is rotten. Would God someone had the courage to tell me when I've reached that point."

    Many of us tried. But as he aged, his desire for power, authority and control grew insatiably. He would not listen.

    Hence, I would not want a Pastor who was over retirement age (67 for my age bracket) as I have seen few success and many horror stories.

    And the first of the Boomers (making up the bulk of the pastors today) will hit 67 in ten years.
     

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