Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some Sobering Statistics

A few years ago the World Evangelical Fellowship undertook a comprehensive research project on missionary attrition. This project was called ReMAP (Reducing Missionary Attrition Project). Their findings were startling -

The project found that among those working in missions and pastoral ministry:

• 90% report working between 55 and 75 hours per week.
• 80% believe that ministry has negatively affected their families.
• 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands.
• 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.
• 70% constantly fight depression.
• 70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
• 80% of ministry spouses wish their spouse would choose a different profession.
• 50% of those starting out in ministry will not last five years.

Unbelievable. If you want to read the whole article to find out the why's and how's behind these statistics, click here.

It leaves me wondering - how much do we place unrealistic demands on others, especially those in positions of leadership (that is such a loaded word I almost hate to use it)? What if we just saw them as human beings with strengths, weaknesses, needs, quirks and fun sides (even, dare we say, irreverent senses of humour)? What if we gave back rather than taking all the time? What if we could encourage them rather than seeking our own encouragement? Would these statistics be any different?

*special thanks to Cat Nguyen and Mark Cathey for passing along the article.


wakeupcowboys said...

You're right, it is sobering. I must admit, I'm surprised at the extreme nature of these statistics, even though I worked in personnel development in our mission and saw the realistic side of missions. Thanks for blogging about this. You have good insight.

Elisabeth said...

I believe those statistics. It makes me sick, but I believe them. You explained it perfectly. We put an inhuman expectation on people in leadership. That's the problem. We need to stop doing that and start realizing every believer should be in some place of serving and leading. If we all served within the body in some capacity, we'd all be on the other side of the coin-understanding that everyone else is just as human and needy as we are.