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Home Truths about Baptist Pastors in the United States

By Author unknown.

(Adapted from an article in the Baptist Times, 17 July 1997)

The changing lifestyles of American pastors were revealed in a survey by the Baptist Sunday School Board which showed the following findings:

  • 89% said that they reserved time in their schedules each week for family activities.
  • 55% engage in daily or weekly exercise programmes.
  • Almost one third had no other day off apart from Saturday.
  • 73% said that they took steps to protect themselves from burnout, mostly through hobbies, exercise and diet.
  • More than 30% had sought guidance from a trained counsellor, while 53% said that they would go to another pastor if they needed help.
  • Almost 70% said that they felt their financial rewards were equitable considering their experience, training and the community they served.
  • Four fifths had been given a pay rise during the previous two years, but about half of them found that the rise did not cover the increase in the cost of living.
  • Only 13% felt penalised by an antagonistic or power group in their churches.
  • 43% of respondents were allowed between 11 and 15 days holiday per year. Another 27% had between 16 and 25 days. Most reported taking fewer than 10 days in the previous 12 months.
  • The top three ministry gifts from a list of 12 were felt to be teaching, shepherding and exhortation - in that order. Administration, evangelism, leadership, prophecy and service came next.
  • 80% considered their ministry to be primarily pastoral. Another 15% said that it was primarily evangelistic.
  • Asked what their time was spent doing, the highest numbers reckoned on spending 30% on study, 5% counselling, 10% administration and 11-20% on pastoral visitation.
  • The average number of hours worked ranged from 40% to 60%.
  • The pastors’ greatest joy in ministry was witnessing and seeing people saved, changed lives and growth, and preaching.
  • The greatest frustrations were lack of vision and motivation in their churches, lack of commitment by church members, and lack of time.

Ministry Today

You are reading Home Truths about Baptist Pastors in the United States by Author unknown, part of Issue 14 of Ministry Today, published in October 1998.

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