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Can Pastors Really Be Happy? (Part II)

Readers debate ministers' job satisfaction.

Two weeks ago, I reported the audacious statistic that 91 percent of pastors say they feel "very positive" or "positive" about ministry. (For the complete report, click here.)

That led many readers to e-mail me—on both sides of the issue. Let's start with those who would adjust the results:

But Barna & Dobson Disagree …

"How do we square your finding that 91% of pastors want to stay in the ministry with Barna's assertion that the average total ministry tenure is now 14 years (less than half what it used to be) or with the Dobson report that 1,500 men are leaving the ministry every month?" (Bill)

[Not having seen those studies, I only hazard guesses. About ministry tenure, it may be that the pastorate, just like the missionary calling, is being pursued by more short-termers and fewer lifetimers. It's also true that more people are entering the pastorate at midlife, particularly in mainline denominations, which would likewise shorten pastoral tenure. Thus, the statistic on tenure ...

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