10 Reasons Pastors Quit Too Soon

Why do pastors quit too soon? Here are ten potential reasons.

1. Discouragement

  • Many pastors and church leaders receive criticism, experience little or no growth, people leave, enemy attacks, etc.

2. Failure

  • Many pastors are successful.  But with unnecessary and self-afflicted pressure they feel like a failure.

3. Loneliness

  • It can be lonely at the top.

4. Moral Failure

  • Especially sexual sin/affair/pornography addiction.

5. Financial Pressure

  • Not enough money to support their family. Or lack of financial responsibility.

6. Anger

  • At certain people … at God.

7. Burnout

  • Exhausted and depleted – and angry.

8. Physical Health

  • Simply did not care for their bodies. Junk food, no rest, no exercise.

9. Marriage/Family Problems

10. Busyness/Drivenness

What other reasons do pastors quit too soon?

  • http://danblackonleadership.info/ Dan Black

    Great list. I have seen church leader’s quite because of one or more of these reasons. I would add, not being growth driven.

    • Tim

      Good addition.

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    • Tim

      Good thoughts. Completely agree.

  • Burt Robinson

    Started ministry in 1991 and I am finally taking a “mini-sabbatical” in January of 2012. I have suffered from 8 and a half out of these 10! Unfortunately, each year at Annual Conferene another colleague in ministry has fallen from 10 out of 10 and left ministry.

    • Tim

      Burt –
      Thank you for your honesty! It is tough seeing colleagues exit. Blessings on your ministry and sabbatical.

  • http://www.AKStafford.blogspot.com Todd

    I did quit about 4 months ago. I had been in leadership for 15 years and on staff for about 10. Over the last three years I realized more & more that the Senior Pastor and I seriously disagreed on how a church should function. So, rather than fight him for control, I stepped out of the way. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had actually been at the church longer than the Senior Pastor.
    Actually, in my case I don’t feel like I quit too soon. If anything, I waited too long.

  • http://austindhill.com/ Austin Hill

    Great list of reasons! I think another influence is that much of the work in the institutional church can feel like the farthest thing from ministry. I know a pastor who is leaving ministry altogether because he feels he can have a more effective witness in the corporate world, where he worked before he became a pastor.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Austin –
      I agree! I was on staff at a large church for 7 years. If you are not careful, ministry can definitely be removed from ministry. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stanley-Lucas/1136212679 Stanley Lucas

    A show I saw on PBS noted that pulpits were designed to be above the congregation so that the preacher could talk down to them, verbally and physically. Talk about putting someone on a pedestal! Going through a church directory where they listed all the pastors that had served since the founding of a church I use to go to, I have noticed a good number didn’t even last a year.
    Perhaps you need a setup where the pastor talks to his flock, and not down to them. That is, he should not be up higher than them like he is better than them. Why couldn’t you have a physical arrangement like a movie theater where the seats go higher towards the back? This would send a message that the pastor is a servant-leader instead of a big boss, looking down at and dominating all.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Thank you for comment. Good observation. In my experience I am seeing many churches steer away from the exalted pulpit and going towards your recommendation of a flat or crowd raised environment.

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