Losing the faith: The great ‘pastor resignation’

Banfield

(NewsNation) — A recent study found that pastors nationwide are struggling with burnout and quitting just like much of the U.S. workforce.

Barna, a Christian research organization, reported that stress, isolation and political division are some of the issues factoring into pastors’ desire to quit. As of March 2022, 42% of pastors considered quitting, according to the data.

Why are pastors quitting?

  • Stress of the job
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Political division
  • Impact on family
  • Concern about the future of the church

NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield spoke with author and Pastor Glenn Packiam about why members of the clergy are experiencing their own “great resignation.” He says it became “a job that no one could actually do” as different expectations increased over the years.

“In the 60s or 70s, pastors were asked to become expert therapists, and to learn psychology tools, and to be able to help marriages and people with mental health issues,” Packiam said. “And then somewhere in the 80s and 90s, the expectation turned towards pastors as CEOs, as entrepreneurs. And then we started adding to that.”

Social media comparisons also added to the stress of the job. During COVID, pastors felt they were being compared to other popular livestreamed church services.

“You have stalking expectations, you have social media comparisons, and then you have kind of the stress fracture. The crises that we experienced in the last two years were crises that actually became the occasions for more fractures, more divisions,” Packiam added.

Watch the full discussion in the video above.

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