Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Statistics Why Pastors Leave the Ministry

  •  90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
  • 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor's children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
  • 95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses.
  • 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
  • 75% report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
  • 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged as role of pastors.
  • 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
  • 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
  • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
  • 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
  • 33% confess having involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church.
  • 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
  • 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
  • 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form.
  • 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor's ministry.
  • 80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.
  • 80% spouses feel left out and underappreciated by church members.
  • 80% of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose a different profession.
  • 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves.
  • Moral values of a Christian are no different than those who consider themselves as non-Christians.
  • The average American will tell 23 lies a day.
  • The profession of “Pastor” is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above “car salesman”.
  • 4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
  • Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
  • Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month , many without cause.
  • Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
  • Many denominations report an “empty pulpit crisis”. They cannot find ministers willing to fill positions.
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastor's believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.

Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Colonel Sanders And Church Growth

By Rev Albert Kang

Colonel Sanders
Did you know that Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, was a devout Christian? Apart from being a successful Christian, he was also a very successful businessman. He testified that it was his faith in the Lord that provided him with the motivation to succeed even when he was already 65 years old. He had since gone on to be with the Lord in 1980 but the testimony of his success continues to inspire many till this day.

Colonel Sanders started out in the food business when he opened a restaurant to complement his automobile service station. He was quite a creative cook and one of his culinary inventions was a Southern fried chicken. He had marinated this with his own special blend of herbs and spices. Being a curious person, he sought after new ways and methods to improve his cooking. Soon he learned about a newly invented cooking pot known as the pressure cooker. It was said that this appliance could reduce his cooking time drastically. At that time, his existing customers were already complaining about the food preparation time being too long. So he decided to try out frying his chicken with this new invention. To his pleasant surprise, his chicken tasted much better when prepared in this way. His restaurant business blossomed and grew even beyond that of his automobile service station.
Just as he was about to enjoy the success of his restaurant business, a crisis hit him. He was forced to close his restaurant and automobile service station because a new interstate highway had redirected most of his customers elsewhere. He was then 65 years old and had nowhere else to go. He could be like many of his aged friends, who had retired and lived off the government retirement benefits. However, that was not the kind of life for the Colonel! He knew that his special recipe would be his next key to success. Colonel Sanders made a bold decision. He took his recipe and pressured cooker and traveled around the United States looking for restaurants that were willing to buy his franchise.
In the 1950s, this idea sounded as crazy as it sounds today. Imagine an old man with a chicken recipe-franchising scheme, driving around selling franchises that no one ever ask for. This just did not make sense to most people during that time.

Countless restaurant owners rejected Colonel Sanders' franchising scheme. It was said that not less than 1009 restaurant owners turned him down before he was able to make his first sale. By 1964, Colonel Sanders had signed up more than 600 franchisees and later sold his business for a huge sum of money. The rest of the story is history.
What has the story of Colonel Sanders to do with our church growth? Here are some interesting principles that we can learn from this courageous man:
Colonel Sanders and his KFC Restaurant Franchise
The Colonel Believed In What He Had
Belief is a powerful motivation. Colonel Sanders believed that his chicken recipe was unique and probably the best in the world. He believed that to be a fact even when no one else did. Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants are found worldwide because of that singular conviction.
The church in the Book of Acts was a believing church. It went through dark time of persecutions and attacks but it triumphed because the apostles and the early Christians believed in what they had.
Do you believe that your church has a unique and powerful message to share with the world? Of course, you do! When you believe that God has raised your church for more than being a ministry to your community but also to the rest of the world, then you are activating the mountain-moving faith with you. This will inspire the whole church to be a powerful soul-winning entity.
The Colonel Acted On His Belief
It was said that Colonel Sanders often slept in his car while he was out selling his franchise. He even ate the very chicken that he cooked as samples for the restaurants. He did not just expound a theory but acted upon his belief. He was willing to sacrifice so that he could succeed.
Many years ago, Nehemiah believed that the wall of Jerusalem should be built and set out doing it. In spite of tremendous opposition from the enemies, Nehemiah was willing to sacrifice. The citizens believed and stood with their leadership. They acted together upon that belief. The end result was that the wall was completed and the will of God accomplished!
When your church acts upon the belief that you are a powerful soul-winning church, God will open doors of opportunity for you. What you are doing may be a time-consuming venture but it will be worth your efforts. 

The Colonel Refused To Respond To His Limitation 
Most 65 year-old folks think that they are too old to launch any new projects. They are intimidated by the magnitude of these new challenges and so they simply give up. As for the Colonel, he refused to respond to his limitation but only to his potentials. Age was never a barrier but an asset. He felt that he was more experienced and wiser to fulfill his dream.
In the Bible, Caleb was one of the older Israelite generals who refused to surrender to the limitation of his age. Instead, he believed that the Lord would bless him even at that ripe old age of 80 (Joshua 14:7-14). He was a dreamer who sought only after his potentials.
We must learn from these testimonies. We do not need to surrender to our limitation either. The Lord wants to bless our potentials and we should maximize them for the glory of the Lord. Join a ministry today and be active for the kingdom of God.
The Colonel Was Willing To Try New Method
One of the primary reasons for Colonel Sanders' success was his willingness to look for new ways to do things. By taking advantage of new inventions, Colonel Sanders produced a winning formula that became the key to growing his business.
Peter, Paul and the other apostles were willing to preach to the Gentiles even though it was a completely new concept. They learned to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit even though they had to do what they had never done before.
Your church should continue to explore, research and develop new approaches to evangelism and ministries. There will be critiques sitting at the wings, ready to mock when you fail. However, you must never allow the fear of failure or embarrassment to prevent your church from using new methods to achieve God's objectives.

Colonel Sanders Would Not Be Defeated
When the highway destroyed his business, the Colonel went on fighting. That's the kind of fighting spirit we must have. When one door is closed, let's trust that the Lord is opening another door. When the restaurant business closed, Colonel Sanders came out with the chicken franchising scheme.
Even when he was on the road, the Colonel proved to be a tenacious fellow. He did not give in to difficulties at all. After being rejected 1009 times, he went to sell a franchise to the 1010th prospect. Could you imagine what would happen to KFC if Colonel Sanders had given up after being rejected by prospect no.1009?
The second temple took the Israelites twenty years to complete. They could have finished building in a few short years but there were much objections and resistance from the enemies. However, the Israelites under the leadership of earnest dedicated men like Zerrubabel, Joshua, Haggai and Zechariah, refused to be defeated. Their tenacity paid off and the second temple was ready for consecration in the spring of B.C. 516, twenty years after their return from captivity.
Tenacity when applied positively will get us over the "River Jordan." Let's do not pretend that growing a church is that easy. If it were that easy then you should have done it years ago. The journey will be tough! There will be criticisms, objections, and even rejections. Whatever the cost, as long as you are patient and willing to pay the price, you will make it.
Every believer has to continue in inviting friends and loved ones to church and cell meetings. Many of them will turn you down. Do you give up? No! You just need to work wiser and harder. You will not use anything as an excuse to fail because you know that, by the grace of God, you cannot be defeated!

You may face hardship but as long as your church leadership is resolved to lead the congregation to overcome every mountain and obstacle, your church will be victorious. God is giving you the "Promised Land" and you will be facing "giants". The going will be tough but you must never, never, never give up!