Religious scholar, Martin Marty, wrote that in earlier American life, the minister was the most powerful and important person in the community. He could even arrest people and put them in jail. Even as recent as fifty years ago, pastors were regarded as the best educated and most competent people in town. And they generally were. They were often called upon by Washington DC to actually consult on government policy. Today, however, pastors are viewed in a much different light. So many pastors today find themselves in an almost impossible situation because they have been so attacked and torn down and they are not granted the authority God intends them to have.
As a result, 70% of pastors today exhibit a damaged image of self. 75% of pastors today seriously consider leaving the church. Pastors are twice as likely to seek counseling as the general population. 80% of clergy believe pastoral ministry affects their families negatively. And for every 20 pastors who go into ministry, only 1 retires from the ministry. Pastors are the only hope for our situation today. They have the knowledge and the position given by God to make a difference and meet the desperate human need. If we would honor and support and uplift our pastors, our churches would once again become places of light and power and love that would transform our world.