For more than 20 years, Leadership has unleashed its editors and research staff to interview and survey pastors. Being journalists, we've asked probing questions on topics such as sex, money, and power. You've answered—candidly.
I pored through three thick notebooks bulging with two decades of reports and selected ten questions-and-answers I found intriguing.
- How do you feel about ministry?
Conventional wisdom bemoans crisis proportions of pastors discouraged and depressed, stressed and burned out. With due respect, our research consistently shows otherwise. For example, 91 percent of pastors say they feel "very positive" or "positive" about ministry. Nearly all feel satisfied (91 percent "very satisfied" or "satisfied"), and they want to stay in ministry (75 percent "definitely want to stay" and 21 percent "prefer to stay").
- Since you've been in ministry, have you had sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse?
Yes: 12 percent; no: 88 percent. This 12 percent, though nothing to cheer, is lower than the equivalent figure in the general population, 15-35 percent, according to Sex in America: A Definitive Study (Little Brown, 1994).