Everybody and their brother is linking to a post by Mark Driscoll about how pastors are overworked. Amen. We’ve said this before and it’s definitely true. Driscoll offers some good signs a pastor may be overworked and some potential solutions. Worth the read.
However. The piece also includes a section of some shocking statistics (50% of pastors get divorced, 70% fight depression, 40% have cheated on their spouse, etc.) credited to a presentation by Darrin Patrick who apparently gathered the info from Barna and Focus on the Family. No direct links or specific attribution is given.
We’ve seen this before, too. Frightening numbers about pastors at risk that aren’t necessarily accurate. Last time we couldn’t track down the original source, but did determine that it was at least 20 years old. This time around we don’t know (I tried to contact Patrick by phone and e-mail to no avail). I’m not saying the numbers are wrong, I’m just saying the citation isn’t there. So take them with a grain of salt. As Homer Simpsons would say, “People can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of all people knows that.”
Of course the reliability of the stats doesn’t change Driscoll’s message. Whatever the numbers are, pastors do get burned out. Let’s support our church leaders and not push them over the edge. But let’s do it with verified information.