Last week I posted the first in a series of posts in the “Young Clergy Exodus” from the United Methodist Church. It was spurred by a 48 hour period in which I found out four young clergypersons were leaving ordained ministry. I’ve written about young clergy issues a lot, so needless to say I was dismayed by the turn of events.
So I created a survey, put it out there, and it was picked up by some of the UMC news organizations, young clergy networks, and a host of Facebook friends.
So it is with a somber heart that I report that 128 people have filled out the young clergy survey. Somber that there are that many, and that I know even more wait in the wings.
In addition, eight people have contacted me who haven’t filled out a survey but have told/will tell their stories in different ways. So in reality, 136 people have responded. When you add in the 14 people in my life whom I know have left ordained ministry and who I haven’t approached about filling out the survey, we start to hit 150 people that I know will respond.
Here’s the breakdown so far of young adults filling out this survey:
- 21 were ordained/commissioned clergy or local pastors that left the ministry process.
- 45 were laity seeking ordination that stopped the ordination process.
- 10 were laity that opted to not seek ordination at all.
- 31 are current ordained/commissioned clergy or local pastors that are considering leaving ordained ministry.
- 21 are laity seeking ordination that are considering leaving the ordination process.
There’s terrible stories and mundane “life happens” stories. There’s stories of hope and stories of deep deep bitterness. There’s LGBT people who have left ministry and those who remain in but are unsure. While these are self-reported stories and the facts may not match memories, this isn’t a professional peer-reviewed survey and it shouldn’t be noted as such. The testimonies are what are most important, in my opinion.
Thanks for sharing.(Photo credit: “The Monk and the Heron” by h.koppdelaney , Flickr Creative Commons share)