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While this article is not intending to be a pity party by any stretch, statistics of vocational pastors (in the USA) are sobering at best.
According to the New York Times (August 1, 2010) "Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could."
1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
Personally, I am still so thankful for His great grace to be called into full-time ministry, particularly as a church-planter in Germany. On Saturday, Jan. 20th, we celebrate 35 years of ministry in Germany. My desire is to be an example that God's grace is sufficient and a calling will keep you focussed on the task, even when the pain is intense and the price is high. We are called to suffer for his name sake. (1 Peter 2:21)
Many of the statistics were found at PastoralCareInc.com
In January we meet once again with European church-planters and challenge them to be aware of the dangers, plus design their own guardrails that are intended to keep them from disqualification or discouragement resulting in quitting the ministry.