Pastors leaving ministry —statistics & causes

Pastors leaving ministry

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PRAYER ALERT on pastors leaving ministry. From IPMI Monthly Global Prayer Teleconference. More than 70% of pastors do not have a close friend with whom they can openly share their struggles. The dominant cause for pastors to leave the pastoral ministry is burnout. Number two is moral failure. These are alarming statistics. And there are many more:

  • 80% of pastors believe the pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. (Life Enrichment Ministries – 1998.)
  • Only 50% of pastors felt that the education they received adequately prepared them for ministry. Most pastors rely on books and conferences as their primary source of continuing education. (George Barna – 2002.)
  • 25% of all pastors don’t know where to go for help if they have a personal or family conflict or concern. 33%  have no established means for resolving conflict. (George Barna – 2002.)
  • 40% have no opportunity for outside renewal like a family vacation or continuing education. There is a very clear relationship between the amount of time a pastor takes for personal renewal and his satisfaction in his job. (George Barna – 2002.)
  • At any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit. (Church Resource Ministries – 1998.)
  • More than 2000 pastors are leaving the ministry each month. (Marble Retreat Center 2001.) 

(Source: Top 2 Causes for Pastors Leaving Ministry and More Statistics.)



1.      For pastors experiencing loneliness, the burning out effect, other challenges of the pastoral ministry that impact negatively on their families or considering quitting the ministry as a result of discouragement. That they to turn to the Lord for spiritual comfort, assurance, and strength. He is the only Rock of our Salvation. Indeed, all other grounds of faith or worship are sinking sand.  

2.      For all pastors facing all types of moral failure that continue to undermine the credible witness of the church as salt and light of this nation. That they turn to the Lord in prayer and repentance to help to facilitate revival in the church. We urgently need this for the spiritual healing and transformation of the nation.

3.      For those institutions and agencies that provide all types of spiritual support to pastors. These include including seminaries, denominations and the local church. They must do a more effective job of training, mentoring and caring for the spiritual, emotional, social and family needs of the pastors they serve.   


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Burnout and moral failure main reasons for pastors leaving ministry.

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