House Church Unplugged

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clergy, happy as clams

My purpose in writing today is to highlight the contradictory reports about the job satisfaction of the clergy – not to consider whether such a class of people should exist.

Over the years I have heard voices in the house church community speak of the great dissatisfaction of clergy as we sought to advance our own cause. Naturally. To hear some of us speak and write, most clergy persons were ready to jump off the next available bridge. And we had the statistics to prove it…

But according to a recent and major survey the total opposite is being reported. From the Christian Century:

Survey says clergy have highest job satisfaction

If you want to be rich, get an MBA. If you want to be happy, go for an M.Div. Members of the clergy rank highest in job satisfaction, according to a report released April 17 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. More than 87 percent of clergy said they were satisfied with their jobs, followed by firefighters (80 percent) and physical therapists (78 percent).

Cynthia Lindner, directory of ministry studies at the university’s divinity school, said that in her opinion the findings rang true. People come to the ministerial field with no expectation of getting rich and every expectation of being able to make some difference in the world, she said.

“People are not going into the profession out of some sense of ‘I want a lot of power and prestige,'” she said. “Most of all my students would say, ‘We want to help heal the world.'”

The rankings are based on information collected in the research center’s General Social Survey over almost two decades from more than 27,000 people.

Religion News Service

And, you ask, who might be on the bottom of the heap of happiness?

At the bottom of the job satisfaction scale were roofers, followed by waiters. Roofers were also the second unhappiest workers; garage and service station workers ranked as unhappiest.

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