Is a Great Resignation brewing for pastors?

“I am leading a massive, multi-year study of how churches have fared during the pandemic. Nearly every conversation I have gets around to just how exhausted clergy are and how many of their colleagues are thinking about quitting the ministry.” - RNS


I pastor a small church without a lot of extra programs. It is a joy to minister. When I look at other churches with so many different programs I get exhausted just thinking about it.

Today it seems that the typical pastor is expected to be a church CEO, activities director, and charismatic motivational speaker. He has to know how to dress in the latest fashions and look good in the limelight. I understand that many churches do not have this expectation, but I fear that this is the message that the next generation of potential pastors is getting.

God does not call CEO’s and activities directors to the pulpit- he calls faithful servants. Going back 300 years churches did not even have Sunday School, let alone all the other programs that have been added. I am not against looking for every opportunity to better equip the saints for the work of the ministry, but the expectations for pastors has gotten so far from the Biblical mandate that I am not surprised that we have a pastoral shortage. I believe that there is a special role in God working in hearts to motivate them towards ministry, but when the openings for ministry do not look anything like what God is calling men to, then we should not be surprised by our current crisis.