Am I happier than I thought?

Paul Gregory Alms over at Incarnatus Est pointed out a study done over a Yahoo! Jobs. Apparently America’s pastors are among the happiest workers.

Now what I find interesting is trying to juxtapose that with the fact that 20-30% of America’s clergy suffer from some sort of clinical depression. I don’t have any real brilliant insights, but I would be interested in yours. What’s your take?

-DMR

++++++++++++++++++++++

Clergy rated Americas happiest workers: “I bet you thought that headline was an Onion article. Its not.

After all we hear about burnout, stress and unhappiness this comes along. Turns out the ministry is a pretty good gig. While there is a reality in all those things, there must a be a big middle ground of contented folks.

Where Do America’s Happiest People Work?

I guess we are happier than we think.

Career isn’t the only factor”

10 thoughts on “Am I happier than I thought?”

  1. Interesting article on happiness. I just read an article with statistics that conflicts with this one. I wonder who is right?

    In a large 2001 Duke Divinity School study, 76 percent of the clergy were found to be overweight or obese. Ten percent were found to be clinically depressed and forty percent depressed some of the time or worn out most of the time. HealthFlex, a managed-care health plan reports that clergy are overweight, have high blood pressure and stress and depression levels higher than the general population.
    http://bachdevelopment.com/bach710.html

  2. Interesting article on happiness. I just read an article with statistics that conflicts with this one. I wonder who is right?

    In a large 2001 Duke Divinity School study, 76 percent of the clergy were found to be overweight or obese. Ten percent were found to be clinically depressed and forty percent depressed some of the time or worn out most of the time. HealthFlex, a managed-care health plan reports that clergy are overweight, have high blood pressure and stress and depression levels higher than the general population.
    http://bachdevelopment.com/bach710.html

  3. Well, you certainly piqued my interest with the article you posted, so…. I kept looking for more information and now I’m wondering if some clergy have a tendency towards spiritualizing mental illnesses and not recognizing it or are not well informed on the subject?

    In a recent Baylor study of 293 Christians who approached their local church for assistance in response to a personal or family member’s diagnosed mental illness, Baylor researchers found that more than 32 percent of these church members were told by their church pastor that they or their loved one did not really have a mental illness.

    All of the participants in both studies were previously diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider as having a serious mental illness, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, prior to approaching their local church for assistance.

    In addition, Baylor researchers found study participants who were told by their pastors they did not have a mental illness were more likely to attend church more than once a week and described their church as conservative or charismatic.

    However, the Baylor study also found those whose mental illness was dismissed or denied were less likely to attend church after the fact and their faith in God was weakened.

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/10/16/clergy-often-downplay-mental-illness/3147.html

  4. Well, you certainly piqued my interest with the article you posted, so…. I kept looking for more information and now I’m wondering if some clergy have a tendency towards spiritualizing mental illnesses and not recognizing it or are not well informed on the subject?

    In a recent Baylor study of 293 Christians who approached their local church for assistance in response to a personal or family member’s diagnosed mental illness, Baylor researchers found that more than 32 percent of these church members were told by their church pastor that they or their loved one did not really have a mental illness.

    All of the participants in both studies were previously diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider as having a serious mental illness, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, prior to approaching their local church for assistance.

    In addition, Baylor researchers found study participants who were told by their pastors they did not have a mental illness were more likely to attend church more than once a week and described their church as conservative or charismatic.

    However, the Baylor study also found those whose mental illness was dismissed or denied were less likely to attend church after the fact and their faith in God was weakened.

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/10/16/clergy-often-downplay-mental-illness/3147.html

  5. Ok… I’m really bugged. Here’s an article that questions the reliability of the “happiness” quotient article.

    Happy, Healthy, Shiny, Satisfied Clergy?
    By Dr. John Marshall Crowe, B.A., M.Div., D.Min., APC

    http://bachdevelopment.com
    /bach99.html

    Quote:
    …a majority of the clergy care ministry directors did not agree with the NORC study results… (and offered this possible explanation) …the desire to be seen as successful and/or culturally competitive can also mask an overly positive research response. Who knows how many are hiding their pain behind a mask? Clergy let these masks fall when they find the ’safe place’ that these clergy crisis/support ministries provide.

    The ministry directors asked questions about the study’s sample population.

    · Which religions were represented in the survey?
    · What pastors the study included?
    · How universal was it?
    · How were respondents chosen (all in ministry, just lead pastors, missionaries, parachurch, etc.?)
    · How many clergy responded?

    Some asked questions concerning the research methodology.
    · When during the last 18 years were the clergy surveyed?
    · What account was taken of those who didn’t respond?
    · How were the significant changes that took place in many denominations over the past eighteen years measured or taken into account?

    Many of their questions focused on the questioning itself.

    · How were the questions asked?
    · Exactly what kinds of questions they did ask?
    · How were satisfaction and happiness measured?
    · Could they see the questions that were used in the survey?
    · What was the specificity of their questions; and variable controls?
    · What was the exactness of questioning as to “satisfied and very happy” among clergy?
    · What was the level of confidentiality under which these questions were administered?

  6. Ok… I’m really bugged. Here’s an article that questions the reliability of the “happiness” quotient article.

    Happy, Healthy, Shiny, Satisfied Clergy?
    By Dr. John Marshall Crowe, B.A., M.Div., D.Min., APC

    http://bachdevelopment.com
    /bach99.html

    Quote:
    …a majority of the clergy care ministry directors did not agree with the NORC study results… (and offered this possible explanation) …the desire to be seen as successful and/or culturally competitive can also mask an overly positive research response. Who knows how many are hiding their pain behind a mask? Clergy let these masks fall when they find the ’safe place’ that these clergy crisis/support ministries provide.

    The ministry directors asked questions about the study’s sample population.

    · Which religions were represented in the survey?
    · What pastors the study included?
    · How universal was it?
    · How were respondents chosen (all in ministry, just lead pastors, missionaries, parachurch, etc.?)
    · How many clergy responded?

    Some asked questions concerning the research methodology.
    · When during the last 18 years were the clergy surveyed?
    · What account was taken of those who didn’t respond?
    · How were the significant changes that took place in many denominations over the past eighteen years measured or taken into account?

    Many of their questions focused on the questioning itself.

    · How were the questions asked?
    · Exactly what kinds of questions they did ask?
    · How were satisfaction and happiness measured?
    · Could they see the questions that were used in the survey?
    · What was the specificity of their questions; and variable controls?
    · What was the exactness of questioning as to “satisfied and very happy” among clergy?
    · What was the level of confidentiality under which these questions were administered?

  7. Ok… I’m gonna quit with this one. I suppose the happiness study bugs me because it seems to fly in the face of so many well done studies….

    Check this one out;
    Here is another report from: http://www.pulpitandpew.duke.edu
    /DPLP/reports/PDFs/jackcarroll.pdf

    Clergy Satisfaction: How have changing expectations affected clergy job satisfaction? The findings are also mixed.3 Some studies have found a large percentage of pastors who say that they
    are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” and fulfilled in ministry (Barna 1993; National Federation of Priests’ Councils 1994). Two-thirds of the Protestant clergy surveyed by Barna (1993: 61) indicated that their ministry efforts in their current congregations have been worth the effort. In the same survey, however, almost 50 percent believed that being a pastor has had a negative effect on their families. In contrast to Barna’s generally satisfied clergy, the previously mentioned Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study (Klass and Klass1999) found that 30 percent of the clergy interviewed expressed satisfaction with their work; another 30 percent expressed moderate degrees of satisfaction; and half of the remaining 40 percent–approximately 1000 clergy–were in what the report called “advanced stages of burnout.” Comments such as “The joy is gone. I can’t take the crap anymore,” or “I cannot encourage others into this,” or “Young people see this and say, “No way!” were typical. Among the severest critics of ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study were the spouses of current and former pastors (Klaas and Klass 1999).

  8. Ok… I’m gonna quit with this one. I suppose the happiness study bugs me because it seems to fly in the face of so many well done studies….

    Check this one out;
    Here is another report from: http://www.pulpitandpew.duke.edu
    /DPLP/reports/PDFs/jackcarroll.pdf

    Clergy Satisfaction: How have changing expectations affected clergy job satisfaction? The findings are also mixed.3 Some studies have found a large percentage of pastors who say that they
    are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” and fulfilled in ministry (Barna 1993; National Federation of Priests’ Councils 1994). Two-thirds of the Protestant clergy surveyed by Barna (1993: 61) indicated that their ministry efforts in their current congregations have been worth the effort. In the same survey, however, almost 50 percent believed that being a pastor has had a negative effect on their families. In contrast to Barna’s generally satisfied clergy, the previously mentioned Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study (Klass and Klass1999) found that 30 percent of the clergy interviewed expressed satisfaction with their work; another 30 percent expressed moderate degrees of satisfaction; and half of the remaining 40 percent–approximately 1000 clergy–were in what the report called “advanced stages of burnout.” Comments such as “The joy is gone. I can’t take the crap anymore,” or “I cannot encourage others into this,” or “Young people see this and say, “No way!” were typical. Among the severest critics of ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study were the spouses of current and former pastors (Klaas and Klass 1999).

Leave a Reply

Am I happier than I thought?

Paul Gregory Alms over at Incarnatus Est pointed out a study done over a Yahoo! Jobs. Apparently America’s pastors are among the happiest workers.

Now what I find interesting is trying to juxtapose that with the fact that 20-30% of America’s clergy suffer from some sort of clinical depression. I don’t have any real brilliant insights, but I would be interested in yours. What’s your take?

-DMR

++++++++++++++++++++++

Clergy rated Americas happiest workers: “I bet you thought that headline was an Onion article. Its not.

After all we hear about burnout, stress and unhappiness this comes along. Turns out the ministry is a pretty good gig. While there is a reality in all those things, there must a be a big middle ground of contented folks.

Where Do America’s Happiest People Work?

I guess we are happier than we think.

Career isn’t the only factor”

0 thoughts on “Am I happier than I thought?”

  1. Interesting article on happiness. I just read an article with statistics that conflicts with this one. I wonder who is right?

    In a large 2001 Duke Divinity School study, 76 percent of the clergy were found to be overweight or obese. Ten percent were found to be clinically depressed and forty percent depressed some of the time or worn out most of the time. HealthFlex, a managed-care health plan reports that clergy are overweight, have high blood pressure and stress and depression levels higher than the general population.
    http://bachdevelopment.com/bach710.html

  2. Well, you certainly piqued my interest with the article you posted, so…. I kept looking for more information and now I’m wondering if some clergy have a tendency towards spiritualizing mental illnesses and not recognizing it or are not well informed on the subject?

    In a recent Baylor study of 293 Christians who approached their local church for assistance in response to a personal or family member’s diagnosed mental illness, Baylor researchers found that more than 32 percent of these church members were told by their church pastor that they or their loved one did not really have a mental illness.

    All of the participants in both studies were previously diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider as having a serious mental illness, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, prior to approaching their local church for assistance.

    In addition, Baylor researchers found study participants who were told by their pastors they did not have a mental illness were more likely to attend church more than once a week and described their church as conservative or charismatic.

    However, the Baylor study also found those whose mental illness was dismissed or denied were less likely to attend church after the fact and their faith in God was weakened.

    http://psychcentral.com/news/2008/10/16/clergy-often-downplay-mental-illness/3147.html

  3. Ok… I’m really bugged. Here’s an article that questions the reliability of the “happiness” quotient article.

    Happy, Healthy, Shiny, Satisfied Clergy?
    By Dr. John Marshall Crowe, B.A., M.Div., D.Min., APC

    http://bachdevelopment.com
    /bach99.html

    Quote:
    …a majority of the clergy care ministry directors did not agree with the NORC study results… (and offered this possible explanation) …the desire to be seen as successful and/or culturally competitive can also mask an overly positive research response. Who knows how many are hiding their pain behind a mask? Clergy let these masks fall when they find the ’safe place’ that these clergy crisis/support ministries provide.

    The ministry directors asked questions about the study’s sample population.

    · Which religions were represented in the survey?
    · What pastors the study included?
    · How universal was it?
    · How were respondents chosen (all in ministry, just lead pastors, missionaries, parachurch, etc.?)
    · How many clergy responded?

    Some asked questions concerning the research methodology.
    · When during the last 18 years were the clergy surveyed?
    · What account was taken of those who didn’t respond?
    · How were the significant changes that took place in many denominations over the past eighteen years measured or taken into account?

    Many of their questions focused on the questioning itself.

    · How were the questions asked?
    · Exactly what kinds of questions they did ask?
    · How were satisfaction and happiness measured?
    · Could they see the questions that were used in the survey?
    · What was the specificity of their questions; and variable controls?
    · What was the exactness of questioning as to “satisfied and very happy” among clergy?
    · What was the level of confidentiality under which these questions were administered?

  4. Ok… I’m gonna quit with this one. I suppose the happiness study bugs me because it seems to fly in the face of so many well done studies….

    Check this one out;
    Here is another report from: http://www.pulpitandpew.duke.edu
    /DPLP/reports/PDFs/jackcarroll.pdf

    Clergy Satisfaction: How have changing expectations affected clergy job satisfaction? The findings are also mixed.3 Some studies have found a large percentage of pastors who say that they
    are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” and fulfilled in ministry (Barna 1993; National Federation of Priests’ Councils 1994). Two-thirds of the Protestant clergy surveyed by Barna (1993: 61) indicated that their ministry efforts in their current congregations have been worth the effort. In the same survey, however, almost 50 percent believed that being a pastor has had a negative effect on their families. In contrast to Barna’s generally satisfied clergy, the previously mentioned Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study (Klass and Klass1999) found that 30 percent of the clergy interviewed expressed satisfaction with their work; another 30 percent expressed moderate degrees of satisfaction; and half of the remaining 40 percent–approximately 1000 clergy–were in what the report called “advanced stages of burnout.” Comments such as “The joy is gone. I can’t take the crap anymore,” or “I cannot encourage others into this,” or “Young people see this and say, “No way!” were typical. Among the severest critics of ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod study were the spouses of current and former pastors (Klaas and Klass 1999).

Leave a Reply