Lifeway Research recently
polled over 1000 pastors on the biggest distractions they face. The most
significant distraction – dealing with critics.
Here are the numbers:
•79% of pastors say critics distract them from their ministries. Nearly
40% strongly agree that they do.
•Though pastors of all church sizes felt this way, pastors of churches
with over 250 in worship attendance were more likely to struggle with the
•48% of pastors say conflict among staff and/or key lay leaders is a
•Pastors in the South are more likely to have conflict among staff
and/or key lay leaders than pastors in other regions.
It is a fascinating find, because a distraction is
classified as something that is not part of what you should be doing. For
example, to say problem solving is a distraction if your job is to be a leader,
would be to dismiss part of your job description.
Everyone who has ever lived has had to deal with conflict.
Christians tend to flee it through denial or flight, but those responses tend
to makes things worse. Conflict is an opportunity for ministry if done well. A
distraction? Sometimes. Moments for ministry? Always.
Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International. As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.