The Presbyterian Church (USA) Research Services’ fifth release of its “Minister Wellbeing Report” reveals that nearly half of surveyed ministers report regularly feeling fatigued.
The report, which was released on Monday, evaluated the responses of 4,495 PC(USA) ministers, or 23 percent of all ordained mainline Protestant ministers. The responses were collected between September and November of 2019.
According to the data, 49 percent of respondents noted that they feel fatigued on a daily basis. Thirty-two percent reported feeling concerned about isolation, and 42 percent said they are concerned about the need for their own spiritual renewal. An additional 35 percent said they were concerned about burnout, though only 34 percent said they took a sabbatical. According to the report, 80 percent of the ministers who have never taken a sabbatical said that their employer has never offered them one.
"Nearly half of the ministers report that they are tired. Most take a day off each week, but nearly one-third have not taken an extended time to refresh, replenish, and spend time in spiritual reflection," the report notes.
"Fatigue is often associated with distancing oneself from constituents and family. If not attended, fatigue can lead to burnout."
According to PC(USA) Research Services, the present-day results may have shifted since this survey was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic.
"The challenges and stresses of the pandemic impacted all of life — ministers and ministries included — and may have resulted in different responses in some instances had the survey occurred during the pandemic," the report says, according to The Christian Post.
"The results, nonetheless, provide insights into the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of PC(USA) ministers."
While a substantial number of ministers reported fatigue and or burnout, the survey also found that most (90 percent) said they still feel enthusiastic about their job. Further, 89 percent said they believe their work and ministry give their lives meaning and purpose.
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Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.