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I came across this post by John Armstrong this evening, it really hit the spot. Not because I’m directly feeling all these right now but rather because I’m aware that these are the grimmer and unfortunately more common experiences a lot of pastors have. These are the enemies of joy, passion, and real forgiveness & reconciliation that pastors must have functioning in their lives daily. And one of the greatest helps we can have as pastors are friends – PERIOD.

Listen to a few of the statistics John lists from a recent Fuller Theological Seminary lecture given by Richard Blackman;

1. 75% of pastors surveyed reported having at least one significant crisis due to stress.
2. 80% believed that ministry is affecting their families negatively.
3. 90% felt inadequately trained to meet the demands of their job.
4. 50% felt unable to do their jobs.
5. 37% of pastors had experienced inappropriate sexual contact outside of their marriage.
6. 40% of pastors experience a “serious relational conflict at least once a month.” [My view: This is mostly with staff and/or church boards or councils.]
7. 50% of all pastors felt unable to meet the demands of their jobs.

More than anything I hope these figures encourage you to pray for your pastors and befriend them. Its a difficult but wonderful calling to be a pastor, and their families as much as they do, carry the weight of it. If you’re a pastor going through these things please take comfort in knowing that these things face all of us, they’re endemic to our culture and Jesus is no stranger to them. Our struggles with His bride are relatable to his own, and if he loves her even though he knows she’s ruined her wedding dress playing in the mud we ought to bear with her and do the same.