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Pastors Are Struggling with Family and Ministry Boundaries

Half of the former pastors surveyed by LifeWay shared that their churches had unrealistic expectations. In fact, pastors often feel conflicted between ministry needs and their families. In fact, 94% of pastors in ministry work hard to protect their family time. However, those who left ministry (74%) shared that they struggled to find an excuse to be with their family.

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Why this matters for church leaders:

This study from LifeWay identifies what sets apart healthy pastors from burned out pastors. Is there a church staff that wouldn’t want to take a look at that?

  • The Good News: Contrary to reports that pastors are leaving the ministry in droves, this story offers some good news: the vast majority of pastors are continuing to serve.
  • Who Is on Call? Pastors who designate different people to be on call and to handle emergencies throughout the week were less likely to burn out (94%) since they were able to guard family time from ministry time.
  • The Warning Sign of Burn Out: Church staff and elders should keep a close eye on how pastors spend their time away from their family. If a pastor isn’t getting home on time or is always on call, that could be a warning sign that they need more support and more time at home.

Do you have clear boundaries for family time and ministry time? Are there people at your church who can help you establish better boundaries?

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