“‘Leadership personality,’ ‘leadership style’ and ‘leadership traits’ do not exist. Among the most effective leaders I have encountered and worked with in a half century, some locked themselves into their office and others were ultragregarious…..Some were quick and impulsive; others studied and studied again and took forever to come to a decision. Some were warm and instantly ‘simpatico’; others remained aloof even after years of working closely with others, not only with outsiders like me but with the people with their own organization….The one and only personality trait the effective ones I have encountered have in common was something they did not have: they had little or no ‘charisma’ and little use either for the term or what it signifies.” -PETER DRUCKER, IN THE FOREWORD TO THE LEADER OF THE FUTURE: NEW VISIONS, STRATEGIES AND PRACTICES FOR THE NEXT ERA.
These statistics have been around for some time and the research was done in the 1990’s but they do strike a chord for us even today and in Singapore. The research was finished by the Schaeffer Institute, but quoted in Thabiti Anyabwile in a post titled, “Don’t Make Your Pastor A Statistic”. In the post he quoted the research of the former and I reproduce part of it here:
But if I am to believe some of the survey statistics published on pastors and their view towards the ministry, the vast majority of my fellow pastors do not feel this way and are not receiving proper care from their people. Consider these figures compiled by the Schaeffer Institute:
Hours and Pay
90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
Training and Preparedness
90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they
thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
Health and Well-Being
70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if
they could, but have no other way of making a living.
Marriage and Family
80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
80% of spouses feel the pastor is overworked.
80% spouses feel left out and under-appreciated by church members.
70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.
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.
4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
These statistics are startling and sad. Dr Richard J. Krejcir commented about this epidemic:
“After over 18 years of researching pastoral trends and many of us being a pastor, we have found (this data is backed up by other studies) that pastors are in a dangerous occupation! We are perhaps the single most stressful and frustrating working profession, more than medical doctors, lawyers, politicians or cat groomers (hey they have claws). We found that over 70% of pastors are so stressed out and burned out that they regularly consider leaving the ministry (I only feel that way on Mondays).”
However if you want to get further depressed, read the original article on why U.S. pastors leave their churches in Statistics on Pastors by Dr Richard J. Krejcir. Needless to say, we need to pray for all our pastors. And give them regular sabbaticals!
New media connected
“I have read his blog. Then we became friends on Facebook.” That was how Pastor Richard Wong introduced me as the guest speaker in his church. New media is changing the way the world and the church works. More often than not people may meet online before they meet physically. This has been very much my experience in the last two years. We knew each other from afar and off-line, but recently we had lunch and we hit it off and shared our lives easily.
Richard is hungry for the spirituals and yet is down to earth and a good administrator. He has been pastoring the church for close to two decades and still remains hopeful and enthusiastic. He sees himself above all as a servant. This serving heart has been his hallmark since the days of his youth, and it has been imparted to the church too.
The Singapore Christian Canaan Church had come a long way from conservatism to Third Wave openness. This year they were moving into healing. This is a church of about 200 over and they have a building and worship team I envied. The worship team comprised half Filippinos and half locals. The elder Steven attributed their improvement to the training implemented by the youth and worship pastor.
About 30 of the integrated congregation are Filippinos, mostly from the professional and service industry. The rest were mainly locals from youths to adults in their 50’s. The church was a family church: warm, welcoming, hospitable and all-embracing. This is their great strength: the love, unity and happy family feel was palpable. The congregation responded easily and positively to the message I preached, “The Church of the Prodigal Son.” This is a word I have been bringing everywhere I can as I feel it is a word in season for the church.
At the entrance to the worship hall, I caught sight of a large painting the size of a large notice board. This was evidence of how adventurous this church is. The pastor told me the painting was done by a Japanese couple, during an art rendition at the Good Friday service, as the congregation sang two songs in worship of Jesus the Lamb of God.
Later Richard and his wife Josephine brought us out for lunch at Sushi Teh in the City Mall. Never did I know a relatively new mall existed in Little India, other than Mustapha’s. We talked about the missions work of the church in Bangladesh, Chiangmai and Sulawesi. We talked shop and about our families. It was wonderful to know how God worked in the world. Many are the risks taken but the Lord watches over His people.
We reached home after 3pm, satisfied and glad to have the privilege of serving the Lord and this happy church.