Over the last few years the discussions I have had with other ministers has led me to believe that we are in a period of time that is vitally important to the future of the church. The thing that has led me to believe that is the amount of ministers I talk with who are tired. They are approaching burn out. They need some support but don’t always have an outlet to find the help they need.
I decided to try to find out more about the health of ministers in Churches of Christ. This post is the first in a series of posts reporting the findings. Hopefully these results will help us figure out better self-care as ministers and help elderships develop practices and relationships with their ministers that help them become healthier.
I assessed five areas of health: physical, mental, relational, spiritual, and ministerial/professional. We understand that these areas are not isolated but that they all interact with each other as we view our lives, bodies, minds, souls, etc more holistically.
This post will give the demographics of those who participated in the survey. Future posts will dive into each of the five areas.
119 people took the survey.
Age: Average was 43 years old
- 97% male
- 3% female
Marriage and family
- 98% married
- 95% have children
- 79% have children currently in their home
- 80% Preaching minister
- 11% Youth minister
- 6% Associate minister
- 2% Family minister
- 2% Childrens’ minister
Their average years in ministry was 18.3
The average number of congregations they have served in was 3.
The number of years they have served their current congregation had an average of 7.3 years.
The Barna group has been in partnership with Pepperdine University to assess the health of ministers in a report titled “The State of Pastors.” The study reaches beyond Churches of Christ but Pepperdine has partnered with Barna group to see how ministers in Churches of Christ compare with ministers in other denominations in terms of their health and well being. I encourage you to look into their findings as well. I was also encouraged to find that our study and their study had similar findings in the areas our work overlapped including the demographics of our samples.
In conclusion, I look forward to sharing the findings of this study over the course of the next week. It will be both eye-opening and helpful and I believe it compliments the work Barna has done very well.