Gallup Sees Decline in Future Clergy

When I first told Aunt Vesta I was going to enter the ministry her first words were, “Well, you’re never going to make any money, that way.”

My Aunt was imminently practical and brutally frank. She kept groping for something positive to say about my announcement. It was obvious my decision didn’t excite her. Her next rejoinder was, “Well, at least I won’t have to worry about you getting some girl pregnant.” That was the extent of her positive acceptance of my career direction.

Her view of preachers, as she called them, was that they were poor and sexless.

Apparently she was years ahead of the times. A Gallup Poll that says fewer than one-half of 1 percent of Americans would advise a young person to enter the ministry as a career. It doesn’t say why, so I can’t tell if they agree with Aunt Vesta, or not.

Thanks to Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, for sending a note about the release of the poll. It was linked at Ethics Daily.

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