Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Six Ways Churches Can Help Pastors Thrive

By Lisa Cannon Green

The statistics are sobering: Four out of five senior pastors expect conflict in their church. Many (54 percent) say being a pastor is overwhelming. Nearly half (48 percent) say the demands of ministry seem too much to handle.

Yet churches can do much to ease pastors’ stress and encourage them to stay in ministry, according to a new report from LifeWay Research examining the reasons pastors quit.

LifeWay’s survey of 1,500 pastors from evangelical (including non-denominational) and historically black churches found most are hanging on. About 1 percent a year leave for non-ministry jobs or non-pastoral roles in ministry. But the study identified many stress points that can contribute to a pastor’s departure. Top reasons for leaving the pastorate, current pastors say, are a change in calling, conflict in the church, and family issues.

Here are six recommendations on how churches can better support their pastors and possibly help avoid these issues...