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Aggression and stress identified in survey

31 July 2015

iSTOCK

MINISTRY places a strain on marriages, a new survey of 200 priests, pastors, and leaders suggests.

Two-thirds (65 per cent) of those who responded to a self-selecting poll by Oasis UK said that working in Christian ministry had put strain on their marriage or equivalent relationship, and 12 per cent described the strain as “significant”.

A total of 71 per cent said that their role was either “quite stressful” or “very stressful”, and 64 per cent said that they struggled to get everything done. This last figure rose to 73 per cent among female respondents (38 per cent of the cohort).

Two in five (43 per cent) reported that their church members had “little or no understanding of the pressures they are under”. When asked about church members being rude or (passive) aggressive, 76 per cent said that this occurred regularly: church members shouted at them, on average, once a week. Some said that they were shouted at or spoken to aggressively 30 times a month.

Half felt that they received very little support for personal and professional development.

The findings were not all negative. More than half (52 per cent) found ministry “very rewarding”, and a further 34 per cent selected “quite rewarding”. On average, they estimated that 62 per cent of the feedback from their congregation was positive (38 per cent negative).

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