The Wave Is Coming

waveIt’s happening.  January in the Presbytery Office means pastors are slowly and quietly sharing their plans that this is the year they will be retiring.

Baby Boomer Pastors are retiring in increasingly huge numbers and the consequences will be very interesting.

Generally speaking, there are pastors retiring from tiny churches and those congregations may not survive the transition.  There are also pastors retiring from larger congregations who have had the resources to continue to be 1950s churches  and they may want to call “a young pastor” (meaning younger than 50) who wants to bring them into the 21st Century, and it will be a tricky transition.  There are medium sized churches who will also call younger pastors and that could be even trickier – or easier if these same medium-sized churches have already recognized the cultural reasons why they can no longer afford an associate pastor.

Attention all pastors under the age of 50, and especially those of you under the age of 40:

  • You will need to learn how to finesse the shift between 20th and 21st Century Church or
  • You will need to plant new churches.

A friend of mine was recently told by a PNC that he was “too creative” to be their pastor.  Actually, he is emergent/fresh/missional/social media savvy, and – yes – creative.  Too creative?  Maybe for them.  Actually, they are a wonderful congregation with enormous potential to be a haven of ministry, but the changes they’ll need to make to ascend on the Church Life Cycle are too scary to fully accept quite yet.

These are tumultuous changes, but God does awesome things with waves.  We need to get ready.


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