Rodney Mullins Online
Bringing a Spirit of Excellence to the Body of Christ

The American Pastor

A Pastor ministers by Strengthening the weak, chiefly by empowering them to solve their own problems by looking to the Lord first and also opening their hearts to others in the Body of Christ; not fostering an unhealthy dependence on them. Ephesians 4:12 and 13 (NRSV)
(12) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
(13) until all of us come to the unity of th…e faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

Far too many Christians look to spiritual leaders for all the answers and never grow up in the things of the Lord. Healthy leaders will lead in a way that people will need them less and less and depend more and more on God. The lost world is in need of mature believers to do the work of the ministry.
The American church struggles with what seems to be an unhealthy codependency between the pulpit and the pew. The pew needs a tangible god and the leader has a god complex. We must reject the feeling that we as leaders are saviors and people must never allow themselves to need a human being to meet their complex needs.
We have far too many ministers leaving the ministry because the high expectations placed on them. We have far too many Christians never coming to full maturity in Christ because they have never been forced to go to Christ and strengthen that relationship. Our American view of “The Pastor” fosters this major problem. Some of those expectations are listed below in what a pastor is not.
• They are not substitute parents
• They are not shrinks
• They are not janitors, plumbers, or construction workers
• They are not crisis managers
• They are not perfect problem-solvers
• They are not corporate executives
• They do not have wireless access to the Holy Spirit concerning your problems
• They are not responsible for your sin
• They are not constructed for long-term bashing
• They are not required to shoulder repeated harsh criticisms
• They are not celebrities
• They have families with real problems too
• They are not always available and tireless
• They are not God in human form
• They can burn out
• They are not perfect
• They are not Christ
Some of the expectations of the American pastor.
1. administrator, facilitator, C.E.O.
2. teacher, educator
3. preacher, pulpiteer
4. Biblical scholar, theologian
5. counsellor, negotiator
6. promoter, planner, programmer
7. politician, diplomat
8. communicator, orator, inspirational speaker
9. entertainer, motivational speaker
10. worship leader, liturgist
11. evangelist
12. moralist
13. activist
14. community leader
15. social worker (transients, homeless, rescue mission)
16. weddings, funerals, hospital visitation
and the list goes on and on….

The American pastor has very little chance of survival for long term if things don’t change. Consider the following…

Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

Four thousand new churches begin each year, but over seven thousand churches close.

Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.

Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years. Ninety percent of pastors said their seminary or Bible school training did only a fair to poor job preparing them for ministry.

Eighty-five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

Seventy percent of pastors feel grossly underpaid.

Ninety percent said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be before they entered the ministry.

Seventy percent felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only fifty percent still felt called.

Pastors’ Wives:

Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.

Eighty percent of pastor’ wives feel left out and unappreciated by the church members.

Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.

Eighty percent of pastors’ wives feel pressured to do things and be something in the church that they are really not.

The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

Pastors’ Marriages:

Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

Pastors’ Children:

Eighty percent of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.

Pastors’ Relationship With the Lord:

Seventy percent of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.

Ninety-five percent of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.

Eighty percent of pastors surveyed spend less than fifteen minutes a day in prayer.

Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.

The most dangerous thing that happens is when exhausted pastors teach, preach, lead and minister out of emptiness. In my humble but experienced opinion a pastor should seek to raise up the body of Christ and equip them to do the ministry. Very simply put, Body ministry is far more biblical and effective than the superman expectations America has placed on pastors. Needless to say there are lazy pastors that think all they are called to do is preach a great sermon but that is the exception to the rule.


2 Responses to “The American Pastor”

  1. Great Job. Very good word.

  2. This is ridiculous. If you don’t like the ministry, get out

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