A shocking new survey reveals how dire the situation is for the contemporary American church. The great tragedy is that it is the church which has been entrusted with "the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world."
According to the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy's 2007 State of the American Church Survey:
- Just over 1500 American pastors leave the ministry each month.
- Nearly 4,000 churches are planted each year.
- But more than 7,000 close each year.
- 50% of all pastors’ marriages end in divorce.
- 70% of all pastors constantly fight depression.
- 80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
- 50% of pastors are so discouraged by their role as pastor that they would leave the ministry today if the could.
- 70% of pastors do not have a close friend, a confidant, or a mentor.
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry in the first five years.
- 90% of pastors say that their seminary of Bible school training did only a fair to poor job in preparing them for the ministry.
- 85% of pastors said that their greatest problems that are discouraging, divisive, and disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, staff members, and associate pastors.
- 75% of Pastors are regular users of Internet pornography.
- 80% of pastors’ wives wish their husbands would choose another profession. A majority of pastors wives said the most destructive thing to ever happen to their lives was the day their husband entered the ministry.
May God raise up in our midst pastors, leaders, and parish congregations to buck these wretched trends. As my friend Cindy Rollins has beautifully reminded us, the need of the hour is for faithful reapers and kingdom seekers to lay down their lives to and share the harvest--for the Lord is calling such to His great Gospel work.