Here’s some provocative statistics from a post of Mark Driscoll’s, Pastor at Mars Hill in Seattle. If you Google “pastor burn out statistics,” you’ll find 3-4 pages of content, including this one. And, if you Google “business owner burn out,” you’ll find over 33 pages of content. Leadership seems a serious risk to well being. Here you go:
- Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
- Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
In Exodus 18, Moses was challenged by his father-in-law Jethro, to set up a leadership structure and delegate real responsibility or risk burn out; i.e., no promised land, no chosen people, no lineage, no Jesus, no faith, hope, or love.
However, delegation requires a clear direction for people to follow and lead others with (something they rarely teach in seminary). If our communication and direction is unclear, inconsistent, lacks credibility, is inauthentic, or lacks trust and loyalty, we create a dissonance. A dissonance that causes people to pull back which creates a headwind to our ministry effort. A headwind that requires dramatically more energy and time to overcome leading to this exhaustion, discouragement, and burn out.
The chart here from a blog titled “Logic and Emotion”, is a bit in our face as Christians, but it illustrates how our interactions and communication can take us to “leadership heaven or leadership hell”. The attributes of brand Heaven, assuming a church is walking in His will and grace, can help free the Spirit to powerfully work in a church, and help make it feel like a bit of Heaven. Brand hell squelches it. Where is your team?
That’s why I suggested in my last two posts a “Third Place” cannot be effective without a passionate people and an Epic Story driving it. It can’t just be another ministry flavor of the month. It won’t be credible, feel authentic to the ministry, build trust, or create loyalty within or outside the church.
Any experiences of brand Heaven or hell in your church or “Third Place” effort? We’d love to hear about them.