Monday, February 24, 2014

A good definition of burn out....

...how about this: if it were economically feasible for you to walk away from the ministry and into another line of work tomorrow, would you go? These statistics indicate that among generic "American clergy" the number who would respond in the affirmative stands somewhere between 50 and 57 percent.

Lord help us all...

+HRC

8 comments:

  1. This might have something to do with it:

    "Seven hundred fifty-six (756 or 72%) of the pastors we surveyed stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons. This left only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study."

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm looking at this from a slightly different angle. I served three years at a small dying parish in Nebraska where I was constantly in fear of my paycheck bouncing. We amicably decided almost a year before I left that if I had no call by summer 2010 I'd resign and return for STM studies. In the midst of a horrible period of poverty I found a regular pulpit supply location where the kind folks eventually extended me a worker priest call in order to remove me from the purgatory of CRM.

    After years of trying to support my family with various minimum wage day labor jobs I finally have a good steady full time job as a work at home tech support supervisor.

    For the first time in literally eleven years I'm not living hand to mouth on the charity of others and constantly worrying about when and if a financially stable church might ever call me.

    So my feeling now is that I might never want to go back to a situation where I have to rely on DPs and voters meetings for a paycheck.

    The thought of getting a call packet in the mail fills me with almost as much dread as joy.

    Two summers ago I enthusiastically began the process of applying for career missionary. I once again felt like there was hope of being a full time church worker.

    After almost a year of prep it was one week before orientation and a liberal DP turned mission guru unilaterally decided to can me at the last minute without the regional director's knowledge because my CRM status showed I have a record of "failed ministry".

    So now I am certainly "burnt out" on the hope to suckle at the teet of the institutional church but still love being a worker priest and doing pastory stuff.

    If I made enough in my secular job I'd gladly assist a parish for free. In this secular job I excel based on my personal skill and delight in seeing my name at the top of performance evaluations and other quantifiable metrics.

    Maybe it is just my sinful pride and impiety but I don't think the ministry should make the vocation of a husband providing for his family such a nightmare. Why let a bunch of synod fat cats and self appointed religious bosses hold one's life and livelihood hostage to their whim?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not to quibble, but if you were to ask all Americans if they would be willing to walk away from his career if economically feasible, the figure might be higher than that for clergy. Disappointment, even heartbreak, in one's professional life is commonplace in this fallen world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a good point - although far from completely dismantling the point of the original posting...

      Delete
  5. "Seven hundred fifty-six (756 or 72%) of the pastors we surveyed stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons. This left only 38% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study." -- quote from the "statistics"

    One can safely presume that the author of the piece has "walked away" from mathematics.

    "For the first time in literally eleven years I'm not living hand to mouth on the charity of others and constantly worrying about when and if a financially stable church might ever call me ... I might never want to go back to a situation where I have to rely on DPs and voters meetings for a paycheck." -- quote from the Gottesdienst Crowd

    Many might make haste to judge, but the depth of honesty expressed here is appreciable. The dependence on and forbearance with rascals can be most tiresome.

    Even our dear Lord lived hand to mouth ... dependent on the charity of women and the slippery and begrudging fingers of Judas ... for but three years. And that call from the august Sanhedrin, even then, was more along the lines of a slap in the face.

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the first time this flaming liberal has ever been referred to as "the Gottesdienst crowd"

      Delete
    2. As is divinely ordained, the first may be closer to being the dead last, or near last.

      England's "Grand Old Man," Prime Minister William E. Gladstone (and head of the Liberal Party for years and years and years ... and years), for example, advanced policies which were generally supported by the "High Church" segment of the Anglican communion. According to some, anyway.

      See: Dudley W. R. Bahlman, "The Queen, Mr. Gladstone, and Church Patronage," Victorian Studies 34:349-380, 1960

      Your (unworthy) servant,
      Herr Doktor

      Delete

Comments are moderated. Spam, vulgarity, comments that are insulting, slanderous or otherwise unbefitting of Christian dignity will not be published.