Hundreds of pastors are retiring every month. This is the result of the aging Baby Boomer generation of pastors.
At the same time, most branches of Christianity are reporting a decline in enrollment at pastor training institutions. This is a challenge…and an opportunity for denominations and networks or fellowships of churches to rethink how they staff churches.
It is an opportunity for seminaries and Bible colleges to take a hard look at how they equip pastors. This can be a season for housecleaning so many out-of-date seminary and Bible class courses and retooling the way training institutions operate.
This change has started already, with online courses, fast track approaches, and more hands-on equipping. It is a great time to update approaches and patterns of training that have been the same for hundreds of years.
In the 1,700 churches I have consulted, from 65 different denominations, fellowships and independent churches, about 80% of the pastors have complained that they were trained for a ministry world that no longer exists. Perhaps this is a good time to rethink how pastors are equipped for the 21st Century secular mission field where almost everyone who wants to be a pastor is called to serve.
From the congregation’s point of view, the sheer competition to find a pastor that “fits” your culture is a daunting challenge—but it is not impossible!
I’ve worked with hundreds of churches involved in a pastoral transition. In the next three daily blogs, I share some of the best insights discovered in the consultation process, among the churches we have served. Sometimes hard times stretch us to acknowledge realities that lead to overhaul and improve our approach to ministry.