For years it has been reported that there is an exodus of pastors leaving their church positions. As one who has been in pastoral ministry, I have a keen interest in this topic.
Perhaps you too have wondered if there is any relationship of pastors leaving ministry with lack of pastor appreciation by the churches they serve?
While my answer is not based on any scientific study, I do believe that feeling appreciated is key to any employment relationship. And from personal experience I have appreciated being appreciated in the churches I have served.
The relationship of pastors leaving ministry to a lack of pastor appreciation should be explored, especially if the pastors quitting churches each month do so because of the treatment they received by their churches.
Most of us are concerned when we hear that the number of pastors reportedly leaving ministry is said to be as many as 1500 per month. Yes, I know that number has been disputed so let's say the number is much less, maybe even 1 per month. What would cause a pastor exodus of any number to take place?
Personally, after over 4 decades in ministry, I believe that it is the lack of churches expressing genuine pastor appreciation that is one of the key factors in a pastor's decision to "leave the ministry".
By the way, it is my hope is that the term pastors leaving ministry be reframed to mean pastors expanding ministry! After all, if the decision for a pastor changing careers leads to purposeful employment whereby he or she still shares the love of God with hurting people, I praise God!
Whether they are leaving senior pastor jobs or youth pastor jobs, the great concern for churches is that there are pastors quitting their church assignment.
I share these concerns about pastors leaving church assignments so as to reveal the necessity for churches to express pastor appreciation.
Why are pastors leaving ministry? I have heard various reasons a pastor expresses when they feel like quitting ministry, with discouragement being the most common one given by a pastor who is leaving the particular ministry assignment .
Why are pastors discouraged in ministry? While most Christians face discouragement, pastors who are feeling discouragement is more common and experienced at a deeper level than many lay people realize.
I am even bold enough to say that churches need to realize that pastors are under Satanic attack! When criticism of pastors and the sin of griping and grumbling is added to it, the discouraged pastor will often decide to leave ministry, if for nothing more than to experience heartfelt appreciation in another assignment.
Pastor appreciation champions understand how encouraging it is to the discouraged pastor when words of encouragement replace criticism!
If you are wondering how to express words of encouragement, explore the pastor appreciation ideas both here and on other websites with a pastor appreciation theme.
Perhaps a better idea is to ask yourself this question: "What is it that encourages me when I am discouraged?"
Your pastor is no different so become creative in how you express yourself in lifting the spirit of your spiritual shepherd.