I have been very interested in the new blog that Bishop Will Willimon has started in his conference called, Young Clergy. The few posts that have been up have been very intriguing and I am looking forward to more. The last one was short but brought up some good points.
Here is what they said…
We are working on a theory that young clergy tend to like a mission to complete,
a goal to achieve versus simply becoming the chaplain of a congregation.
If this is true, more young clergy will be needing coaching and mentoring
from District Superintendents and Senior Pastors and then to give yearly
evaluations and suggestions for continuing education and personal growth.
Also, if this is true then that means that more young clergy will be
looking for unique appointments earlier in their career outside of the local
congregation (or with creative ministries within the local
According to most conversations, this desire for particular
ministry is lived out earlier in their career and as folks settle down, they
begin to look for more stable appointments.
I never thought of that before. In Divinity School I looked at tons of different options instead of local church ministry. I dabbled in differnet avenues that I hoped would show me a larger calling outside of the local church. I did this because I thought local church work was borning and ‘what grown up ministers did.’ My journey took me to work with HIV/AIDS patients, children in a low income housing development, even to England to work with three churches over there. Eventually I was an associate working with youth and it was there I felt more than ever a call to the local church. I silitified my calling as a pastor, preacher and minister.
I’m still a young clergy (only 30) and I think this post has a lot of valitity. Young clergy are looking to prove themselves and maybe that is what is drawing them to these outside the church appointments. I use to think that chaplaincy gave you the best route to the front lines of ministry. Yet, I’m in the front lines too here, as a minister in the local church. Did I have to prove anything? Yes, I had to prove to myself that I could be satisfied and grow in a local church setting.