What Younger Church Leaders Can Learn From Old-School Pastors

What exactly is old-school instruction and why is it so vital for those entering the ranks of new leadership?

Mark MacDonald  ·  April 13, 2017

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The latest research reveals Pastors are getting older on average. Barna reports that it’s at an all-time high of an average age of 54. Headlines are screaming it everywhere.

The church world is gasping from the numbers that crept up from the average age of 44 in 1991, but is it really a concern?

In full disclosure, I’m very close to the average age of Pastors now. I consult with churches about effective communications and reconnecting with communities.

Recently I’ve been wondering how long I’ll be relevant as I watch the rise of 30-somethings who are starting to take the limelight.

This isn’t a reactionary or defensive article, it’s a serious look at what’s been described as “old school” instruction.

Shouldn’t the advice of an older Pastor (or church communications consultant) be a benefit to a congregation? Yes. Yes! But with caution to the older leader.

3 reasons why Churches need old school advice:

1. They’ve been there done that.
Experience is valuable. 1 Timothy 5:17 says older people deserve double honor. So much can be learned from their experience, victories, and especially failures.

2. They understand the difference between critical and urgent.
With their experience, maturity brings soberness of understanding priorities. They know that important and foundational things must be accomplished before tackling some of the things that “everyone” wants done.

3. They’re a decade away from considering retirement.
Wait, is this a positive? Yes. Listen and learn from them now before they aren’t in a leadership position. Value the time you have with them and learn from them now. Create a plan to learn as much as possible from their depth and understanding.

3 cautions for Pastors or Church Leaders who may be close to being labelled “old school”

1. Older leadership can be set in their ways.
It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. If you’re older, pay attention to new trends, how different things are now, and how you need to adjust your thinking.

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Leadership · Communication · Development · Blogs & Opinion · Generation Z · Leadership Style · Millenials · All Topics


Mark MacDonald
Is a Bible Teacher, speaker, best-selling author of Be Known For Something, and communication strategist for BeKnownForSomething.com and the 3000+ churches of the Florida Baptist Convention. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at BeKnownBook.com and amazon.com.
Contact Mark MacDonald: mmacdonald@ehpub.com ·  View More by Mark MacDonald

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By Rolfansms on March 11, 2018

Yes esteem the time you have with them and gain from them now. Make an arrangement to take in however much as could reasonably be expected from their profundity and comprehension. On the other hand, I try to get grademiners review and we should follow the above school advice.