I was visiting and preaching at a church not too far from Bedford last night that have been without a pastor for some time. Talking afterwards I enquired whether or not they’d approached local theological colleges in their search. The essence of the reply was, “I don’t think we really want someone fresh out of college.” I encouraged them it would be an avenue worth pursuing for the following reasons:
- They’ll be full of enthusiasm, learning, and ideas. What they lack in experience they’ll cover in desire.
- They are still willing to learn and be taught. They won’t come in (hopefully) with very fixed ideas about how things must be run. What they lack in experience they’ll cover in flexibility.
- They’ll be more effective at reaching people at their age and stage – if, for example, they have a young family, they’ll meet, befriend, and attract young families (especially important if your church is ageing).
- You never know, you might have stumbled across the next John Stott.
- If you do find someone with 15-20 years pastoral experience willing to move to your small struggling ageing church you should probably ask why? What’s gone wrong? Why do they want to move? Are things not going so well? Is that the man you want? Really?
- Remember Paul’s words to Timothy – don’t look down on the young men without a ton of experience. The more important questions surround his doctrine, character, and ability. Experience needs to move down the list.
- You stand a better chance of establishing a man who can have a long term ministry. A minister giving you his last 10 years is not a good strategy for long term growth, health, and sustainability. A younger man, on the other hand, may give you (God-willing) 30+ years of sustained gospel ministry – a much better long-term legacy.
Is he fresh out of college? Snap him up, before someone else does.