Though pastors are stressed by overwhelming ministry demands and low salaries, only one percent abandon the pulpit each year.
In a first-of-its-kind study, LifeWay Research surveyed 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches and found an estimated 13 percent of senior pastors in 2005 had left the pastorate 10 years later for reasons other than death or retirement.
"Pastors are not leaving the ministry in droves," said vice president Scott McConnell.
Still, pastors say the role can be tough:
- 84 percent say they're on call 24 hours a day.
- 80 percent expect conflict in their church.
- 54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming.
- 53 percent are often concerned about their family's financial security.
- 48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
- 21 percent say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.
"This is a brutal job," McConnell said. "The problem isn't ...1