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How to Keep a Pastor for 15 Years

In October I celebrated 15 years of pastoring Cornerstone Bible Church in Forest City, PA. A lot of people don’t know that this is unusual. Pastor turnover rates are high for much of the country. The average tenure of 3.5 years is now around 6.5 years, depending on the study you read. An improvement, but not excellent by any means. Here are 7 things I commended my church for which has allowed me to have such a long tenure here.

#1 Everyone is supposed to minister.

Our church understands that everyone is supposed to minister to others, not just the pastor. The apostle Paul talks about this in Ephesians 4:11-13. When people see themselves as ministers, more ministry gets done. This takes stress off of the pastor, allowing him to do what God has called Him to do.

#2 They invest in their pastor’s career.

My church does not just expect me to invest in them – they invest in me. They financially make sure I have the tools like the books I need. They invest in me being able to go to conferences to continue to learn.

#3 They financially care for their pastor. 

A lot of churches struggle to financially provide for their pastor. This often places stress on him and his family, and while he may love the congregation, he has to meet the needs of his family as well. I Timothy 5:17-18 calls a congregation to give double honor to their pastor. A church that does this will often keep a pastor longer.

#4 They hold their pastor accountable.

A pastor is a person too and part of the congregation. He is not perfect, sins, and needs accountability as well. Many pastors fall out of ministry because of grave sin. A pastor needs accountability, often best found within his elder board. They don’t need their entire life picked apart, like some like to do. They do need help lovingly having their sin called out at times.

#5 They let their pastor lead.

Many churches don’t want a pastor, they want a hired hand. They want someone to do what they want when they want. But in Hebrews 13:17 we see that the pastor leads. A church that does this will have a pleased pastor.

#6 They attempt to maintain Christian unity.

A large reason pastors leave churches is due to church conflict. A pastor should attempt to help church congregations work out their interpersonal problems, but there are times when people refuse. A church that is unified in Christ will maintain their pastor longer than one that doesn’t.

#7 Jesus has to sustain the pastor.

Even if most things are going well in a church, a pastor still needs to be sustained by God like everyone else. Psalm 55:22 talks about how God sustains us. A pastor that has a great church but doesn’t lean on Jesus will fail.

Is your church doing well at these things? Do they need to work on something to help their pastor stay longer?

Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes  or Googleplay.