On Being a Millennial Pastor – Leaders who don’t remember the glory days

Great thoughts from The Millennial Pastor – among them,

“As I had yet another conversation lamenting the absence of young people, the decline of attendance and giving, and the general sad state of the present church it dawned on me. These people are grieving.”

“God’s mission hasn’t changed, just the vehicle isn’t as fancy as it once was. The Gospel is still preached, sacraments still administered, the Body of Christ is still present… even in churches whose glory days are over.”

“Will the memory of the glory days keep us looking backwards? Will we admit that our desire to bring the young people back, might actually be us saying that we want to be young again?”

“The church has always been filled with grey hair in my memory… The church in North America will need leaders who can let go of the glory days. Maybe even leaders who don’t remember the glory days. Leaders who can see the church as it is now, rather than what it used to be… Because we are the ones who showed up to seminary full of energy, called to serve a church in decline.”

The Millennial Pastor

“You give us hope for the future.”

The first time I heard those words, I was 23 years old and in seminary. A group of us had travelled 7 hours, from the prairies to the mountains, to attend a study conference for pastors and other church professionals. We were a group of 20 and 30 somethings, all Masters of Divinity students already having bachelor’s degrees and work experience, but compared to the average age of pastors in the mainline, we may as well have been teenagers. So we probably seemed like a group of disruptive students crashing a conference for older folks.

But instead of being grumpy with us or giving us glares (as church folk can sometimes be guilty of doing with young noise makers), we were heartily welcomed by our future colleagues. Our relative energy and enthusiasm seemed to bring them some life and excitement.

And that is…

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