Pastors leaving ministry is what we say of one who is not seeking a new church assignment, but is instead exploring career options in a totally new field of employment.
If we look further into the reasons for this vocational transition, I have discovered that the most common were low pastor salaries, ministry burnout, and church people problems.
Yet it seems we often end up with a negative perspective when talking about a pastor choosing a new career..
Just maybe there is more accomplished for the Kingdom of God when a pastor seeks a new career in professions often considered not ministry related.
My challenge to you is to think in terms of the Great Commission of Christ when exploring transitions in ministry careers.
The reason for starting this career focused website was in response to hearing pastors as having left the ministry when they pursued a career option outside the local church.
Now I know this is a bold statement, but I think it nearly impossible for a faithful servant of God to leave the ministry!
Ken Sande of Peacemaker Ministries in an article entitled “Strike the Shepherd”, reports that every month, 1,500 U.S. pastors leave their assignments because of conflict, burnout or moral failure.
Sande shared that in one study, it was discovered that the average seminary graduate spent only 14 years pastoring before changing careers.
While it is a tragedy when pastors leave ministry because of moral failure, I am convinced most do so for other reasons.
I also contend that more may be done for the Kingdom of God. A new career could mean that those who use to be isolated are now influencing the world outside the local church. .
Just as some of the greatest companies and corporations came about in response to a pink slip, I honestly feel that some of the greatest ministry accomplishments will be initiated by those experiencing pastoral burnout or by pastors being forced out.
For example, The great Christian humanitarian ministry World Vision came about because the founder was rejected as a missionary candidate by his denomination.
When serving as a hospice chaplain, I met an Administrator of a Skilled Nursing Facility who at one time had been a local church pastor. He told me that his new career in the medical field was the most fulfilling ministry assignment of his life.
So should you be described as a pastor leaving the ministry, don't be surprised if you find yourself in a whole new career setting, but ministry just the same. To see one's ministry career in this light is the ultimate change career with purpose strategy.