Top Ten Reasons Young Pastors Desire to Leave Ministry

Note: This does not mean all young pastors, but there is a trend among some almost as soon as they get into their district to look elsewhere for ministry opportunities outside of the pastorate.

1. Pastors study/train 4-6 years to learn how to be Pastors [people who equip others for ministry]: not to become firefighters [putting out constant squabbles at church]  or kindergarten teachers [separating adults that act like 5-year-olds].

2. Working/Living in a dying church that is in a dying community. It’s one thing to try and get people to reach out to their community, but when there is no community…

3. After a sporadic week of visits and meetings, a job with set hours can be mighty appealing.

4. Unappreciative congregations. While I personally am blessed in my congregations, it is discouraging when Pastor Appreciation Month goes by and no one even says “thank you.”

5.  Weird Parishioners.

6. Your congregation[s] don’t match your personal or theological personality making it hard to build relationships.

7.  You have so many churches all you have time to do is maintain not grow them because the laity still thinks pastors are the key to church growth.

8.  You get stuck doing what the congregation is supposed to be doing.

9.  Sometimes you feel like you are the only person you interact with that has managed to make good choices in life.

10. Disillusionment: pastoring isn’t as prestigious, profitable, or productive as they were led to believe.



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4 responses to “Top Ten Reasons Young Pastors Desire to Leave Ministry

  1. mandy wagner

    Wow Seth, straight to the point and oh so very true! I think that pastoring has got to be one of the most difficult jobs as you are constantly trying to do the job of many, when in reality they shouldn’t have to.

  2. davidkoutlook

    Perhaps it is time to return to the Biblical method of ministry– where churches are lay led and have no pastor. Those paid by the tithe function as evangelists/church planters in unentered/dark areas. It’s what the early church did. It’s what the early Adventist church used to do. It’s why other parts of the world field are growing.

    Most pastors I know did not become pastors to babysit and feel maintenance ministry is unfulfilling.

    • sethoutlook

      Thank you for your insight, and I agree. Maintenance doesn’t carry a great deal of meaning. I think there are times when a full time pastor can work if the role is constantly developing and sending out lay ministers into the community and over seeing church planting; but youre right, pastors should be able to raise up other churches in untouched areas–James White said that would be the test of true calling.

  3. Martin Weber

    Lot of sad truth here, Seth.

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