The Impending Retirement of a Generation of Pastors

Episode #076
October 17, 2014
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Podcast Episode #076

The implications for church leadership are even more challenging when we realize how many Boomer pastors specifically will be retiring. This generation was, until recently, the largest generation in America’s history. Millennials now represent the largest generation.

Keep in mind that the ages of these pastors today range from 50 to 68. The Boomers have more pastors represented in their generation than any other. There are many pastors reaching retirement age every month. And I’m not sure our churches are ready for this transition. So this week, we analyze the issue and provide advice for both pastors looking to retire as well as churches with aging pastors.

Some highlights from the episode:

  • In the next 5-10 years there will be a wave of Boomer retirements.
  • What does a Boomer do when a Boomer retires? He keeps working.
  • There is not a magic age for pastors to retire.
  • 20 years ago, I never would have thought church mergers would be a recipe for revitalization.
  • Some pastors will hang on too long; others will not retire for financial reasons. Only a few will have good succession plans.

The five implications of retiring pastors covered in this episode were:

  1. There will be more pastoral vacancies than qualified candidates.
  2. Few churches are giving any thought to pastoral succession.
  3. There will be an abundance of qualified pastors for interim and bi-vocational positions.
  4. Some Boomer pastors will stay at their current positions into their late 60s and 70s.
  5. Some Boomer pastors will lead their churches to merge.

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