I just read an article in which a former UCC (United Church of Christ) pastor talks about participating in a study of more than 300 UCC clergymen who had left the parish ministry in the late 1960’s. He says that while each had a slightly different story, there was one recurring pattern:
“We came out of the seminary bright-eyed and idealistic, ready to mobilize the church to make the world a better place. (A large portion of us graduated from seminary at the height of the civil rights movement.) We quickly learned that our churches weren’t too crazy about being mobilized. I noticed that most of us who had left the pastorate in frustration had found jobs in community action, social work, and related fields.”
I found this fascinating.