I understand why churches look for someone with ministry experience when they’re looking for a pastor. Frankly, I would naturally lean that way, too—except for the many “rookie” pastors I’ve seen do well in their ministry. Here’s why a young pastor might lead well your church’s revitalization efforts.
- Many young leaders have depth in their faith. They just believe that God can do anything, so they’re willing to follow Him into the most difficult church circumstances. That’s the kind of pastor I would want.
- An increasing number of young pastors senses a call to do church revitalization. I wrote a blog post about the “church planting rage” in 2015. That calling is still popular, but more and more young pastors believe God is calling them to lead churches in plateau or decline.
- Young pastors often seek an older mentor in ministry. They don’t want to do ministry alone, and they look for older leaders to help guide them. That means that your young pastor may well have wise counselors speaking into his life as he leads your church.
- More young leaders have a deep burden for their home church. In many cases, they have fond memories of their upbringing in that church—and they want to help that church and others experience growth. Gone are the days when young leaders avoided struggling and dying churches.
- Some young leaders have completed seminary classes on church revitalization. The school where I teach (Southeastern Seminary) now offers MA, MDiv, and D.Min. degrees with a specialization in revitalization—as do other seminaries. Hence, young leaders may have graduate level training in revitalization that older pastors did not get.
- Young pastors will likely attract other young people. Church growth naturally happens that way—the young pastor will likely attract people close to his age and stage of life. Most church revitalizations I know need more young people.
- Young pastors who just want to do ministry are often worth the risk. Their zeal for ministry is so strong that it can naturally bleed over into the congregation. Others then want to be a part of that ministry when they see the young pastor’s faithful passion for God.
Again, I do understand why congregations want a pastor with experience. At the same time, though, somebody must give young pastors a chance. I challenge you to give them that opportunity.