The statistics for pastors aren’t good:
- Fifty percent of pastors starting out will not last five years.
- One out of every ten pastors will actually retire as a pastor in some form.
- Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
- Over 1,300 pastors were terminated by the local church each month, many without cause.
- The average pastoral tenure is less than four years.
- Pastors reach their most fruitful time around year six or seven.
- Generally, the first twenty years of a pastor’s tenure is quite healthy, but it is very rare for a pastor to lead a church through a third decade and beyond with vitality and growth.
- After two decades of change, a pastor gradually loses a sense of vision, while becoming adverse to risk and change.
These statistics speak to the realities of stress, weariness, and emptiness that are part of serving people.
But not every pastor falls by the wayside of statistics. So what is the difference between a pastor who becomes a statistic and a pastor who presses on through the struggles and completes his race still in the ministry?
I believe the difference can be summed up in one word: renewal.
All of God’s servants face fatigue. Depletion was not foreign to the Apostle Paul. David was not exempt from weariness. Job, Moses, Jeremiah—they all hit the walls of exhaustion, emptiness, and despair.
What made the difference? Renewal.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.— 2 Corinthians 4:16
You see, it’s not the strong or the mighty who need God’s renewing power. It’s not the capable or the qualified who best serve God.
It is the weak, the burdened, the empty.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.—Isaiah 40:29
All of us face the ongoing depletion of the outward man. We need the strengthening, invigorating power of the Holy Spirit infusing life and vitality into our service.
If you identify with this need—if you are a candidate for renewal—I would like to invite you to attend Spiritual Leadership Conference 2014. Our theme for this year’s conference is Renew, and I’m asking the Lord to use the conference to renew us in His service.
You can check out the conference website for a list of speakers and a list of the eighty-plus workshop sessions. Through these sessions, every delegate will be encouraged to renew the inner man and equipped to renew practical aspects of ministry. In the evening services, we will be challenged from God’s Word to serve the Lord from renewed hearts and with renewed fervor.
Are you weak? Burdened? Weary?
If so, you’re a candidate for renewal!
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.— Isaiah 40:31
Join us June 8–12 at Spiritual Leadership Conference!