Explains why the numbers of younger clergy are declining, and helps shows young church leaders how to thrive in spite of it.
What many denominational and congregational leaders have suspected for a long time has now been proven: the numbers of persons under 35 graduating from seminary and entering ordained ministry in mainline churches have declined precipitously in recent years. What does this trend mean for you? If you’re a young pastor, it means that you’ll have to create different kinds of support networks than your predecessors have done. If you’re on the administrative board of a local congregation, it means that the kinds of pastors available to you, and the character of their pastorates, will be different to what you have been used to in the past.
Writing for local congregations and their leaders, but also for judicatory and denominational leaders, Lovett Weems and Ann Michel explain the groundbreaking studies they have undertaken into the crisis of younger clergy, and chart a path forward for both younger persons considering ordained ministry, and the congregations they would serve.
From the Circuit Rider review: "The statistics are not encouraging, but surely have been intuited at countless denominational gatherings. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership’s report on Age Trends in the United Methodist Church, 1985-2005 documented the dramatic drop in the number and percentage of UM clergy under the age of 35 in the last twenty years in the United States. In the UMC and in many other denominations, the percentage of clergy under the age of 35 has dropped to below 5%." (Click here to read the entire review.)