Ministry is hard. I hate saying that because it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m actually just stating a fact. According to the statistics, between sixty to eighty percent of those who enter the ministry will not make it past ten years. Less than fifteen percent of pastors will last long enough to retire from ministry.
This past December I celebrated seven years in full time ministry. I have a long way to go, but I can honestly say it’s been the most enjoyable seven years of my life. For me, I’m living my dream, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
There are seasons of stress, especially around big events or when we’re implementing new initiatives. There are times when the ministry has affected my marriage in a negative way.
There are moments where I would really like to tell someone what I’m thinking but I can’t. And on occasion I think to myself, you know I could make more money if I went and did something else.
I have these moments, but ninety percent of the time, I absolutely love what I do. Unfortunately, I know a lot of pastors can’t say that. For many pastors what started out as a dream quickly turned into a nightmare.
Here are some of the reasons why:
With the list above, it’s no wonder seventy percent of pastors feel they’re grossly underpaid. So year after year thousands of pastors leave the ministry, and fewer and fewer sign up to take their place.
If you’re one of these pastors who may be thinking about giving up let me offer you some encouragement.
Small victories allow you to gain momentum. If you’ve been neglecting your marriage, spend the next six weeks getting it back on track. If you feel discouraged, spend the next six weeks around someone that encourages you.
Don’t stop after the first six weeks. Every six weeks focus on one thing that moves your ministry forward because we can’t afford to lose you. We need you in this race, so keep running.