Preparation for church ministry can be extensive, but too often pastors are unprepared for the isolation and loneliness that comes with ministry.
A 2021 study from Lifeway Research found that although fewer than 1 in 6 pastors say conflict drove them from the pastorate, many pastors have experienced conflict in the church. Most pastors (69%) say they dealt with some type of conflict in their last church, and most (80%) expect to confront it in their current church in the future. Fewer pastors experienced conflict over doctrinal differences (12%) or politics (8%) than personal attacks (39%), proposed changes (39%), lay leaders (38%), or expectations about the pastor’s role (28%) or leadership style (27%).
I knew ministry would be tough, but there aren’t words to describe the piercing wound a pastor experiences when church members share they’re leaving the church.