10 Real Reasons Pastors Quit Too Soon

5. Financial Pressure.

Most ministries are nonprofits, so pastors are not compensated well. When you can’t fully provide the life you want for your family, it makes it hard to continue. Then you look at friends not in the ministry with big houses and nice cars.

Pastors can relieve the pressure with better financial planning. Try following the 80-10-10 rule—10 percent to church, 10 percent to savings and 80 percent to live off.

6. Anger.

When things aren’t going well, pastors become angry—with others, themselves or God. Thoughts fall along these lines: “I did everything you told me. I went to seminary. I started a ministry. Why are you not doing what you said?” The worst thing about anger is it spreads like wildfire.

The medicine for anger is forgiveness. We have to forgive so we can move forward.

7. Burnout.

Pastors are put on a treadmill. They go from the ministry to a hospital visit to writing a sermon to meeting with congregation members. They just keep running until there’s no passion or energy left. They become exhausted and depleted.

Vacations and sabbaticals can provide perspective. Another key is empowering other leaders so all the weight is not on the pastor’s shoulders.

8. Physical Health.

Many pastors overwork themselves and simply do not care for their bodies. When you’re busy, it’s easy to eat poorly. But eating the right foods is essential to physical health. It’s the difference between fueling the body and depleting the body.

Pastors also don’t get enough rest or regular exercise. Exercise makes a huge difference in physical and mental health.

9. Marriage/Family Problems.

Too often, a pastor’s spouse and children end up taking a backseat to the ministry. The key is balance.

Marriage has to be a top priority. Your relationship with your spouse is the most important relationship you have on this earth.

You have to nurture your family relationships—whether that means having family night or seeking counseling.

10. Too Busy/Driven.

A lot of pastors simply are not working efficiently. They are not protecting their calendars or giving themselves the space they need. They haven’t learned how to say “no.” Being busy is not always being productive. Pastors need to find ways to maximize the use of their time. You have to learn how to say “no” at the right times.

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Tim Peters
Tim is creator of Sayge and a ten year church communications veteran. Sayge is an intentional, all-in-one, church marketing and communications monthly training resource that is designed to help Church Leaders master the basics of church marketing and communications.