What's in this session?

  • Scary Statistic #1: Church leadership is getting older
  • From 1992 to 2017, the median age of Protestant pastors increased from 44 to 54
  • Only 1 in 7 pastors is under the age of 40
  • Half of the pastors are over the age of 55
  • The median age of pastors is 54
  • The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), reported that 41% of Baby Boomers aged 55-64 have no retirement savings
  • Scary Statistic #2: Communities are getting younger
  • In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that millennials overtook the Baby Boomer generation as the largest generation in the U.S. and Canadian workforce
  • More than 1 in 3 U.S. workers is a millennial
  • The communities we are trying to reach are getting younger while our church leadership is getting older

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

The state of millennials and the Church is not entirely pretty and I think it can be summed up best with two simple statistics and in this video, I’ll share with you exactly what those statistics are. Well hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from ProChurchTools.com helping you seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday Service. We publish new videos every single week, so make sure you hit the Subscribe button below and if you like this video, you know what to do, give it that thumbs up. In 1992, I was one year old and the median age of Protestant pastors was 44. Also at that time, one in three pastors was under the age of 40 and one in four was over the age of 55, fast forward 25 years and things look a lot different, only one in seven pastors is under the age of 40, half are over the age of 55 and the median age, that was 44 in ’92 is now 54 years old, a full decade older, as of 2017. In 25 short years, the median age of senior pastors has increased by a full decade and this is the first statistic that you need to know, when it comes to truly assessing the state of churches and millennials, the median age of pastors is 54 years old and half of pastors are over the age of 55, think about this, there are now more full-time, senior pastors over the age of 65, than under the age of 40. Now, what’s causing this increase of age of pastors? Well, a number of different factors, the average life expectancy continues to go up and so people are living longer and thus working longer, Christianity is on a decline in America, about 8% in the last decade, which means it’s harder to find younger leaders to replace the older ones, because the pool is smaller to draw from and finally, and this one is interesting, boomers across all industries are retiring later, simply due to a lack of retirement savings. The EPI reported that 41% of boomers aged 55 to 64 have no retirement savings at all. Retirement becomes a lot harder for pastors over the age of 55, when almost half of them have no savings, but this paints just one half of the picture, right, sure, pastors are getting older and on its own, that isn’t exactly encouraging, but it gets a lot scarier, when you pair it with this second statistic, in 2015 Pew Research reported that millennials had overtaken the boomer generation as the largest in the US workforce, the same goes for Canada, more than one in three workers is a millennial and this number is only projected to increase. When you add in Generation Z, the yet-to-be-named generation behind millennials, by the year 2025, more than one in two American workers will be a millennial or younger and so to put it very simply, churches are being led by pastors, which the median age is 54. There are more full-time senior pastors over the age of 65, than under the age of 40, just one in seven pastors is under the age of 40, all the while, the largest generation in history, currently in their 20s and 30s is now officially the largest group in the North American workforce. Put another way, the cities and communities, that our churches are reaching are getting increasingly younger, while our pastors are getting increasingly older and this is obviously a major problem, the gap between these two parties is unsustainably large, something that will have to give and we’ll get to potential solutions and what churches are doing well, when it comes to reaching millennials and managing this in other videos, but the first step to solving this issue is being aware of it, know the landscape of your city, your church, your community, recognize what you’re up against and then we can jump into some solutions. If you liked this video, make sure you hit the Like button below and definitely Subscribe to the Pro Church Tools Channel, we post new videos just like this every single week. We’re here to help your church seize the 167 hours beyond your Sunday Service. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for watching, make sure you hit that Subscribe button. I’ll see you next time.

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