In a recent interview, Fresh Expression’s Travis Collins addressed an alarming dropout rate among Pastors.
Being a pastor has never been an easy job, but relatively new dynamics — a postmodern and post-Christian society, a rise of incivility and a decrease in loyalties, to name a few — have increased the sense of isolation, and even persecution, among ministers.
Adding to the stress of church leadership nowadays are hot-button social issues dividing congregations, Collins said.
“Pastors didn’t have, a decade ago, divisive issues like the ordination of gays and same-sex marriage,” he said.
Meanwhile, many churches — especially more moderate ones — are insisting on “collaborative and cooperative leadership” styles that effectively complicate senior pastors’ ability to make decisions and set the direction of the congregation.
“I think we have forced pastors to simply call meetings where we sing Kumbaya and everybody wonders what to do instead of issuing a clear call,” Collins said.
“We may be undermining the spiritual authority of the pastor.”
Travis Collins is Pastor of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama, and Director of Mission Advancement for Fresh Expressions US. He holds a PhD in Christian Mission and is the author of From the Steeple to the Street and Fresh Expressions of Church.