Did You know? July 13

Posted on Jul 11 , 2014 in Did You Know


What is the average length of time for a clergy to say in a church?

 From a study of various churches across North America it was determined to be 4 years. The study though did not just look at length of stay but other factors. Here are some conclusions from the study. Approximately 3/4 of growing churches were being led by pastors who had been in their church more than four years, while 2/3 of declining churches were being led by pastors who had been in their church less than four years. Their conclusion: Long-term pastorates do not guarantee that a church will grow. But short-term pastorates essentially guarantee that a church will not grow. Some other startling facts that actually make sense given this study. In North America nearly 85% of congregations are not growing. Could the major factor in this be that clergy are not staying put long enough? So what does this mean for a congregation that is in the process of searching for a new Priest? The advice from the study is that intentional longevity be made a criteria when looking for a new Pastor. Their conclusion was that the most productive or effective ministry does not happen until years 5, 6, or 7. The suggestion of those who wrote the study is that the minimum length of intended stay be seven years and that coming in that should be part of the discussion and plan.

So, why do pastors leave their churches? Here are the results of one study where pastors were asked that question.


Why am I leaving? I would have answered first, being called by God to another Church which also would have led to selecting the number one choice, desire to serve in a different type of community or area of the country. The other realization I had after reading this study was that if I did not make a change now I would not be able to commit to their suggested seven years at a new place which brought me back to the first reason: Being called by God to another Church at this time for this time.



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