Clergy Burnout Statistics

To say that clergy burnout statistics are troubling is to state the obvious. And I believe that these burnout statistics are really understated. Why? Because I think that many pastors simply don't know or don't admit that they are experiencing any degree of burnout or depression.

So I offer these clergy burnout statistics, along with the pastor burnout statistics I compiled elsewhere, to help pastors realize that they are in a profession that is frequently hazardous to their health and their families. And I want pastors to understand that if they are wondering if they are burned out - they almost certainly are. Some of these statistics are general... while other clergy burnout statistics below relate directly to the epidemic of burnout in ministry.

The burnout statistics listed below come from George Barna's book, Today's Pastors.

  • 97% of pastors are male
  • Though the pastorate is dominated by males, there are significant numbers of women joining the profession every year.
  • The median age is 44
  • 96% are married
  • 80% have a bachelors degree and half have a master's degree placing the pastorate among the most educated professions - but among the lowest paid as well
  • The average length of a pastorate is about four years
  • The median pastor salary is about $32,000 a year including housing allowance and other benefits, while the national average among married couples (1991) was nearly $40,000
  • 24% of the American population is 50 or older but 51% of church attenders are at least 50 years old
  • 40% of church attenders read the bible during the week
  • 30% of congregants would seek help from their pastor during a difficult time in their lives
  • 53% of pastors believe that the church is showing little positive impact on the world around them
  • 60% of pastors believe that church ministry has negatively impacted their passion for church work
  • 51% of pastors expect that the average attendance at their church will increase by at least 10% in the coming year (this perhaps relates to unrealistic expectations)
  • Four percent of senior pastors have a clear vision for their church

Pastor Burnout Statistics Conclusion

Each of the above statistics relate in some way to clergy burnout. They are not all direct contributing factors, but all do influence the drain on a pastor's energy - spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical.

I encourage you to watch how each of these clergy burnout statistics affects you and learn what you can do about their influence in your ministry.

You might also find my page on burnout causes to be helpful.

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Pastor Burnout