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One of the Biggest Reasons Pastors Want to Step Away from Their Ministry

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Shawn Akers

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A new study from Barna Research Group revealed that one the biggest reasons many pastors give for quitting the ministry is the political division within their church.

Amazingly, 38% of pastors pointed to “current political divisions” as a factor for them making a potential career change. Both mainline (66%) and non-mainline Protestant pastors (53%) expressed a concern that “Christians are more loyal to their political views than their faith.”

Of those surveyed, mainline Protestant pastors were more likely than non-mainline pastors to see political division as a problem within their congregation, an issue that has affected their ability to do their kingdom job.

A total of 47% of mainline pastors said that “Christians’ political partisanship reflects poorly on the church.”

Along that line, 42% of mainline pastors and 38% of non-mainline pastors said “the church should be a place of peace, not division.” An incredible 39% of mainline pastors said the church was “too aligned with Christian nationalism.”

Additionally, 29% of mainline pastors and 19% of non-mainline pastors asserted that the church is “too aligned with political conservatism.” Conversely, 8% of mainline pastors and 4% of non-mainline pastors believe the church is “too aligned with political liberalism.”

The Barna survey revealed that “immense stress of the job” as the leading cause of pastor burnout. A total of 56% of pastors who were considering quitting the ministry cited stress as the major reason they were thinking about switching vocations.

A total of 43% of pastors who thought about abandoning full-time ministry said they feel “lonely and isolated.” The survey found, however, that while many pastors are struggling, a majority of them are “staying the course.”

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.

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