By Lisa Cannon Green
No sabbatical. No help with counseling. No clear picture of what’s expected.
Hundreds of former senior pastors say these were the crucial elements missing from the final churches they led before quitting the pastorate.
A recent study by LifeWay Research points to ways churches can encourage pastors to stay in the ministry, said Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Nashville-based research organization.
“Almost half of those who left the pastorate said their church wasn’t doing any of the kinds of things that would help,” Stetzer said. “Having clear documents, offering a sabbatical rest, and having people help with weighty counseling cases are key things experts tell us ought to be in place.”
LifeWay Research surveyed 734 former senior pastors who left the pastorate before retirement age in four Protestant denominations.
Trouble begins early, the survey indicates, with 48 percent of the former pastors saying the search team didn’t accurately describe the church before their arrival.
Their churches were unlikely to have a list of counselors for referrals (27 percent), clear documentation of the church’s expectations of its pastor (22 percent), a sabbatical plan for the pastor (12 percent), a lay counseling ministry (9…Continue Reading