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Best if used by

27 Jun

Do pastors come with expiration dates? If you look closely inside their suit, collar, or vestments, will you find a label that says, “Best if used by . . . “?

Based on a cursory examination of seminary placement listings, you could certainly make that assumption.

It seems like a large number of churches are looking for a pastor between the ages of 30-50. Under 30, the pastor is not quite experienced or seasoned enough. But over 50 and they are no longer to be listened to or trusted. Under 30 and the middle-aged congregants can’t relate to the pastor, but over 50 and the pastor can’t attract the younger generation. Or at least, these are the myths we believe.

Churches and search committees need to understand that with age and experience come wisdom and maturity. In addition, they also need to recognize that with increasing life spans, a pastor can easily minister into his seventies and beyond.

On the flip side, middle-aged and older pastors need to constantly work at relating to the younger generation. Staying current with technology will help. Keeping up with current events, social media, culture, and the issues of the day will keep one’s illustrations and applications relevant. You cannot rely on “Back when I was growing up . . .” as your source of illustrations.

Age is only a number. Some people are old at 35 while others are quite young at 67. Both churches and pastors need to keep their message and ministry fresh.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Church, Ministry

 

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