Monday, April 23, 2007

If You're Happy and You Know It...

87% of pastors are very satisfied with their profession.

That's what the survey says. You might not get that impression listening to some voices, but that survey is consistent with what I hear in conversations with our district pastors.

The reality is that even just 13% who are disgruntled can make a lot of noise...that's true for congregation members too, not just members of the clergy.

Like the Psalmist, the vast majority of us in ministry can affirm: "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:6 (NIV)

The attitude of gratitude helps us keep our edge!

Jeanna Bryner -LiveScience Staff Writer - SPACE.comWed Apr 18, 11:10 AM ET

Firefighters, the clergy and others with professional jobs that involve helping or serving people are more satisfied with their work and overall are happier than those in other professions, according to results from a national survey.

“The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching and protecting others and creative pursuits,” said Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The 2006 General Social Survey is based on interviews with randomly selected people who collectively represent a cross section of Americans. In the current study, interviewers asked more than 27,000 people questions about job satisfaction and general happiness. Individuals' level of contentment affects their overall sense of happiness, Smith said.

“Work occupies a large part of each worker’s day, is one’s main source of social standing, helps to define who a person is and affects one’s health both physically and mentally,” Smith states in a published report on the study. “Because of work’s central role in many people’s lives, satisfaction with one’s job is an important component in overall well-being.”

Job satisfaction

Across all occupations, on average 47 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with their jobs and 33 percent reported being very happy.

Here are the Top 10 most gratifying jobs and the percentage of subjects who said they were very satisfied with the job:

Clergy—87 percent percent Firefighters—80 percent percent Physical therapists—78 percent percent Authors—74 percent Special education teachers—70 percent Teachers—69 percent Education administrators—68 percent Painters and sculptors—67 percent Psychologists—67 percent Security and financial services salespersons—65 percent Operating engineers—64 percent Office supervisors—61 percent

A few common jobs in which about 50 percent of participants reported high satisfaction included: police and detectives, registered nurses, accountants, and editors and reporters.

The perceived prestige surrounding an occupation also had an effect on job satisfaction and general happiness. Not all jobs linked with prestige topped these charts, however, including doctors and lawyers. Smith attributes this to the high degree of responsibility and stress associated with such jobs.... (read more at