Forever Young

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Photo by Dena Flows by Licence

Here’s the latest research from the Evangelical Alliance which shows that despite 26 years full-time with the Methodist Church, I am still younger than the average minister.

In the 1990s I used to cringe when I was introduced at Blackhall Methodist Church as “and now we’ll hear from our young minister……”. it’s depressing to think that they could still say that today.

But will there be young ministers tomorrow? Perhaps the answer comes from these two photographs of Cambridge Methsoc in 1984 and 2012.

Fewer children in church means fewer people of student age in church, which leads to fewer young adults in church and thus fewer young ministers.

If as the article suggests, younger ministers are more effective, then should we not be putting our efforts into discipling the young, rather than catering to the elderly? Of course, it’s easy for me to say that as I’m still youthful – at least in church terms.

What do you think?

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One thought on “Forever Young

  1. Surprised that 57 is the average age of a Methodist Minister. We must be part of a ‘young circuit’….with the Suptd. just tipping over the average……unless of course we take in to account our Supernumerary Ministers. However, age is a state of mind, and more so in terms of spirituality. ‘Developing’ churches have vibrant spiritual depth, usually with a strong prayer base…and are not restricted to age profiling. I would contend that rather than ‘catering’ to the elderly – an elderly congregation of strong spirituality – are likely to be part of a church with a great age range. It is the responsibility of that church to ensure that young people develop the spiritual depth that will stay with them until their senior years when they can still share their faith to develop ‘the youngsters’ coming through.
    I suppose it is good to see that Uni Methsocs. still survive but I am surprised they do. They are a bit of an anomaly in this day and age. Having a son who was President of Reading Methsoc. who realised that there was more common ground with the other Uni.Church Societies decided, with them, they could share their faith together more effectively as part of the Christian Union rather than being seen as something separate……even within the CU.
    Young people with spiritual depth will be open to a ‘calling’ of God. There are more opportunities for them nowadays…and they do not necessarily see ‘going into the church’ as a primary call. I think God is disappointed by the compromises made the UK established churches that He has other plans for working His purposes out in this country.
    IF the under 30’s & 40’s ministers are supposed to be the ‘success story’ for established churches, then I look forward to our new minister. I pray he has the spiritual depth to see that all age ranges can contribute to faith-building and need support to that end.

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