Why Ministers Leave Ministry, part 1

I had no idea a quote I posted to Facebook and Twitter yesterday would spark such conversation through those venues. So, I’ve decided to flesh it out a bit more, and move the conversation here to the blog. The quote came from the platform of the North American Christian Convention. The deliverer was Matt Proctor, President of Ozark Chrisitian College. I know Matt, and he is not only a wonderful man but a scholar of preaching and ministry. His quote was, “1500 ministers leave the ministry every month.” Some found this quote doubtful.

Not me.

Every year that goes by, more and more of my peers choose to serve God in other vocations. Some of them are among the most talented up and comers the Church has among it’s pool of ministers. It saddens me…not because they can’t or won’t serve God wherever they go…but simply because I wish the Church could have reaped the benefit of their skills and gifts over a lifetime. No doubt the Church still will at some level…but you know what I’m getting at.

There was quite a bit of dialogue about everything from the number Proctor cited to the reasons why so many are leaving the ministry…to whether it’s even a big deal. As it turns out, Proctor’s number is pretty well accepted fact out there. So, let’s think about why? Let me throw out letters A-E. You rank them as you think they are…and the next post, we’ll give you the actual stats from the best source out there and talk about that.

  1. FINANCIAL ISSUES – The minister can’t afford life in ministry.
  2. CONFLICT – The minister is eventually exhausted by conflict.
  3. MORAL FAILURE – The minister disqualifies his or her self through sin.
  4. FAMILY TOXICITY – Ministry is hazardous to their family.


Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including: ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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