Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fighting Discouragement in Ministry-Part 3

Chapter 3-Research Method

We have looked at several literature resources, but if we are to determine that discouragement is a very real problem, we must put faces to the problem in order to establish that it is a very real concern in ministry today. This was done in two ways, through the research of literature above and through an interview process with several youth and staff pastors from around the United States. These people were selected at a regional youth event in the Church of the Nazarene. In addition to those at the regional event, several other ministry people that I know were willing to provide information as well. This allowed us to spread the region out from not only the southeast, but also as far north as Michigan.
These men and women have been in ministry for various time periods, are in various positions, and are in various types of churches (the churches vary in size and denomination). In addition to this, some are paid staff, some are volunteers, and still others are currently unemployed and looking for a position. The hope in choosing a variety of people in various ministries/positions is to see if common ground does exist when looking for causes of discouragement in ministry.
It is important to note that with the small size of people interviewed with these surveys we cannot make concrete statistics about discouragement in ministry, but with the surveys we can begin to see some potential patterns that exist among those dealing with discouragement in ministry. With further study with a larger contact group we may be able to gather more definitive information, but the purpose here is simply to look for patterns and similarities that may exist among the surveys. Each of the surveys covered general areas of ministry including personal information, church background, and their relationship with the senior pastor, and time management/personal life management. These areas seem to be common sources of discouragement so it was important to see what the individuals had to say about each of the areas.
A copy of the survey is listed on the next page. We will cover the results of the survey in the next chapter.
Discouragement Questionnaire

About you
Name/Age (will not be used in the paper):
How many years in present position?
How many years in ministry?
Do you have a degree in ministry or specialized training? If so specify:

About your church/position
Where are you currently serving (city/state only)?
What is your position at the church?
Church size (average AM attendance)
Size of youth ministry?
Are you:
· FT
· PT
· Volunteer
What type of area is your church located in?
· Urban
· Rural
· Metro
· Other (please specify)
Please list all of the areas that YOU personally are responsible for planning:
How many hours per week do you invest in your ministry?
How supportive is your church of you? Scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest
· Parents-
· Students-
· Laymembers-
Which of these best describes you:
· Lone ranger (I do all the planning/run the ministry
· Team player (I would die if not for my team)
· Dreamer (I wish I wasn’t a lone ranger, but don’t have a team)
· Other (please specify)
What are your frustrations with your ministry (if any)
· Apathy
· Attendance/Expectations
· Lack of support
· Lack of time
· Other (please specify)
What are your frustrations with your students (if any)
What are your frustrations with parents (if any)
· Apathy
· Unrealistic Expectations (fix my kid)
· Lack of support/involvement
· Other (please specify)

Your relationship with your senior pastor
1. Would you describe your relationship with your senior pastor as (mark all that apply):
Other (please specify)
2. How do you think your senior pastor views you?
· A big kid
· The expert on teens
· Someone who needs constant watching
· Other (please specify)
3. How often do you interact with your senior pastor?
· Only when an issue needs addressed
· Senior pastor who?
· We have an open relationship with good communication
On a scale of 1-10 how close do you feel to your senior pastor?

Personal/Time Management
1. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being very organized and 1 being “what’s a calendar” how would you describe your time management skills?
2. How deliberate are you about taking a day off? (10 being very good, 1 being “what’s a day off)
3. How often do you do your daily devotions?
4. How often do you feel discouraged in ministry?
· Everyday
· 1-2 Xs a month
· Occasionally (every so often)
· Rarely (almost never)
· Discouragement what is that?
5. Have you ever considered leaving the ministry because of discouragement?
If so, how often?
· Everyday
· 1-2 X’s a month
· Occasionally (every so often)
· Rarely (almost never
If you feel comfortable sharing, why have you considered leaving (this would be extremely helpful, and remember all of this information will be confidential)?
Example: lack of support, financial reasons, etc.
Could I share this in my paper-without revealing your name?
Why do you think youth pastors leave the ministry/change churches so often?

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