Here is a sneak peak from chapter three:
The elephant in the room
I am the same age of the children and/or grandchildren of most members of my congregation. Take my first board meeting for example. On the board I have a gentleman who is, to put it delicately, far more “seasoned” than I am. He was in fact the most “seasoned” member of the board. At the beginning of board meeting he asked me how old my parents were. I told him and he let out an audible gasp. He then shared with much chagrin that my parents were the same age as his children. He was just now, in that very moment, realizing that the lead pastor of his church was the age of his grand kids. Sure, he and others in the church probably thought about my age, but I would have to assume they only thought of it in theoretical terms. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have heard a gasp in my first board meeting, but I’ll get to more on age gaps in the next chapter.
What’s funny is this became a recurring theme, one which turned into a joke that I tried to use to my advantage. The term “seasoned” was used regularly, and so was the number 28. In general, the church leadership had no real concerns over my age, they are after all the ones who offered me the job in the first place. They are also the ones I asked “why in the world would you want to hire someone my age?”
See, they gave me a good answer to that question.
They had a legitimate fear that if they didn’t do something a little out of the box, a Hail Mary play type of move, that their church was going to slowly wither away. They had gone through a split many years before over issues not worth mentioning and had been doing their best to maintain the numbers that were left. They chose me because they decided they wanted to take a chance. They wanted to bring in a fresh perspective, someone who may actually figure out how to do this whole pastor thing and would in turn help breathe new life into their church. All this while most certainly in fervent prayer that I wouldn’t completely tank the church. They were taking a risk, banking on God being in this choice, hoping that this union would be something God could use. So basically, they chose me because I was young, among other things.
I thought that was pretty cool. Not everyone did though…
Thats it! The end! If you want to know more about millennials and why it’s kind of a big deal that my church stepped out on a faith to hire me, read this post on the stereotypes of my generation.
Also, be sure to stay tuned. In the coming days we will be hearing from other millennials who either have been or currently are in leadership positions in the church of today.
Until next time…