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Stats about Pastors 2022

stats about pastors 2022

October is Pastor Appreciation Month and, at Standing Stone, we want to help you understand what’s been going on in pastors’ lives recently:

As you know the past couple years have been extremely difficult for pastors.

The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Barna Research, LifeWay Church Resources, and Outreach Magazine all pointed toward increasing stress, pressure, and resignations in clergy members.

Christianity Today’s May/June 2022 cover story included this title,

“Our Pulpits Are Full of Empty Preachers
Tens of thousands of pastors want to quit but haven’t. What has that done to them?”

What have the stresses and pressures of the last two years done to pastors? What have these stresses and pressures done to your pastor?

Over Labor Day weekend, NPR posted a podcast conversation with a pastor who recently resigned in the wake of serious burnout and under the weight of impossible expectations.

“I could not live up to expectations that I didn’t know I was walking into,” he told NPR.

Another pastor told Christianity Today, “I was walking toward the church one day, and I felt something inside of me snap, like a rubber band had been stretched too far.”

Perhaps our greatest concern shouldn’t be empty pulpits, but rather empty pastors standing in them.

A pastor interviewed for Christianity Today has one word to describe his experience in ministry over the past two years: “excruciating.”

We rent a facility downtown. We’ve been there 10 years, and we have to abide by their policies,” he said. “We received bizarro emails from people we’ve known for 10 years. I’ve dedicated their children. I’ve mentored them, walked with them through seasons of hardship, and poof: ‘If we have to wear masks, then we’re out of here.’

“The density of those kind of encounters in the last two years was so atrophying and exhausting,” he said. “One of the real hard things for pastors across the country is that our role tends to be treated as relationally disposable. We value pastors when they give us what we need or want, but when we think we need something else, suddenly they’re inhuman. They’re a religious commodity to be unsubscribed from.”

The September 2022 NPR podcast confirmed this:

I think you’re going to see more of those stories and more clergy feeling burned out because, again, it isn’t a result of overwork but a result of the failure of relationship.

So what can we do?

This is the year to make the most of every opportunity to appreciate your pastor.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and we urge you to think about what you’ve heard. Think about pastors you know and how you can show them they are not a commodity to be unsubscribed from.

Instead, show love for your pastor this month.

Make the most of every opportunity to appreciate your pastor.


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