A veteran pastor, who I very much admire and have grown under, is still serving well into he “retirement” years. I recently heard from another that he says that, “His generation is the most underutilized generation in the church today.”
It’s a sad statement. The older generation is to teach the younger, and the younger should be the better for it.
What’s just as sad is that the younger generations are experiencing the same sentiments. When I was in my 20’s, more often than not I felt that my gifts and vision for the church were not wanted in established churches; that if I wanted to be utilized by the church I had to start a new one on my own. Some church experiences I had were great. Others sent the message that the 20’s were to be seen and not heard, and little by little, they therefore failed to be seen.
Now as a 31 year old pastor, some of the same questions still linger. In the past six months or so, I have had no less than 20 people ask me, “How old are you again?” They ask with an inquisitive frown as if to say, “Are you sure you’re old enough to be a pastor?” I’m really not sure how to justify myself. I really wanted to put my feet up and not work until I turned 40, but I couldn’t figure out how to feed myself and get a girl to marry me without a job, so I went ahead and started working straight out of college.
Are Christian leaders only usable in short decade window of ages 35-45?
I think the church would do well to learn from the rest of the world in this matter. Let’s respect wisdom wherever it’s found, and talent wherever it’s emerging. We cannot afford to limit our talent pool like we are.