Looking Back at 2016….

(CBB-written in Jan 2016)


There are some, I expect, who wonder why I, at 62, continue to explore new “vistas”, pursue new goals, and continue going after ministry activities and opportunities with passion and energy…..because that’s who God made me to be. God’s not done with me yet. I’m not done with life yet. “Retirement” is not a word that fits easily into my vocabulary. Moses was 80 when God called him to his greatest and God-chosen work! For many of us, the opportunity to do the things in life that we really love and have been prepared for come only after years of working in other careers and saving so that we can do those things. For those who were called and said “yes” to ministry early in their lives, I celebrate. For those of us who said “yes” and are pursuing it in later years, celebrate with us, as well.


I’m not sure where all of these statistics online about pastors and their families come from, but observation over the last 40 or so years suggest that some of them are very accurate. Somehow our culture has thrust such high expectations on pastors and their families, that compassion fatigue and burnout is a common problem. For those of us who have raised our families, secured our financial stability, and been “freed for joyful obedience”, ministry in the last half of life is the best time of our lives and the best use of the time we have left.


50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month , many without cause.
Many denominations report an “empty pulpit crisis”. They cannot find ministers willing to fill positions.
4 in 10 pastors view pornography daily.
Food addiction and obesity is the #1 health problem with ministers.
Prescription drugs, drug abuse, and gambling addictions are escalating as ways of escape.
90% of pastors are workaholics, burn a candle at both ends, working between 55-75 hrs weekly.


I think that most of these issues are among those who view preacher/pastor as a career, a vocation, a way of providing income for themselves and their family.   Type A personality hard-drivers are what they are, no matter what field they pursue.