Pastoral Health and Longevity

The following article was by Don Brown. 

At a recent network gathering in Raleigh, Winfield Bevins, pastor of the Church of the Outer Banks, shared some conclusions from a recent study he executed with a group of pastors across the US who have been at the church they planted for 20+ years.

Before sharing these 10 common traits of ministry longevity, Bevins reminded the group that 1500 pastors leave the church monthly, 50% of pastor’s marriages end in divorce, 80% of seminary graduates are NOT in full time ministry, 70% of pastors struggle with depression, and the average tenure of a pastor is 2-4 year.

10 Common Traits of Pastors with Ministry Longevity

1) Long-term vision for their community

2) Family first

3) Emotional/Spiritual/Physical balance

4) Active prayer life

5) Healthy relationships inside AND outside of the church

6) Ministry involvement OUTSIDE of their church

7) Ability to handle conflict

8) Developed teams around themselves

9) Ministry coach speaking into their lives

  1. Life-long learners

Finally, Winfield shared a quote he gleaned from his research that has really stuck with me the last few days. James Boice said, “We over-estimate what God will do in 1 year and underestimate what God is going to do in 20 years.”