A new congregation

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by brobobby, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. brobobby

    brobobby
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    I have only been at my new church for 9 months and i have noticed that is very difficult to get close to the younger families. They won't let us in. I wonder if other pastors have experienced this and do you have any advice. I am 36 and this seems unusual to me. ;)
     
  2. Jim1999

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    All parishes have their unique situations, and there is no set answer. Certainly we must engage all our ingenuity. I trust you mean they will not let you into their homes, or they will not let you get close to them personally. The history of the former pastor may offer some clues, and maybe it is just a matter of time and patience. Do not rush things. New pastors can be quite anxious about getting on with the work. I would suggest searching out the leader of the age group and invite them to your house for dinner. Don't be too aggressive and allow them to talk. Once you gain the respect of the "leader" the others will follow.

    All the very best,

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. gb93433

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    Remember the younger people are a diferent generation. Older people will more often look to the pastor for help whereas the younger people will not.
     
  4. jshurley04

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    Man is this bad or what? To refer to a 36 year old pastor as the older generation! Makes me feel horrible, I'm only 34 and have considered my self still young, now I'm not so sure. :eek:
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Jim1999 is right. Check out the BG of the previous pastor/s, in your church or maybe the church these young families came from if they were transferees.

    jsh04, some will think you're older at 36, others will think you're a dinosaur. Me, I'm a relic at 58. [​IMG] :D
     
  6. jshurley04

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    The way I see it, at 58 I will just be getting smart enough to figure out that I don't know what I need to know about pastoring a church and leading people. When that happens, I will just be getting started in real ministry.
     
  7. Pastor Sam

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  8. Taufgesinnter

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    If it's any consolation, some national poll said that most people consider 34 the start of true adulthood now.

    Keep in mind, someone older than 58 is, well, let's just call them "old school." Someone between 40 and 58 is a Baby Boomer. Someone between 21 and 39 is a Baby Buster (they like to call themselves "Gen-X" because it sounds cooler), and someone under 21 is an Echo Boomer, a child of either a Baby Boomer or a Baby Buster, since both generations had been and still are having children simultaneously. The media like to call the Echo Boomers "Gen-Y." So there's the lay of the land, and you can guess which groups consider which other groups young, older, and old.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I'm used to treating the WWII generation (like Barnabas the elder and Jim) with great deference. They have done their time and still serving faithfully.

    Having said that, I would NOT want to be pastored by the typical 65+ man I see out there. But not by a 35 or under either. The mature and experienced pastor is my choice.

    But all the younger members of the church think I'm and old fogey and all the older members of the church think I'm a young punk.
     
  10. Pennsylvania Jim

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    IMO we have gone WAY overboard in dividing people by age. Separate activities for each age group, etc. The young miss out on tapping into the wisdom of the older folks, and the older folks don't appreciate the young. FAR too many activities segregated by age.
     
  11. exscentric

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    Visited a church week ago and they announced that they were planning events for their senior citizens. This only told the church that we have seniors and we are going to isolate them in their little group.

    Personal opinion as you preach the Word they will see the Lord using any aged preacher. It takes time, some time and lots of time. Don't get in a hurry, it is Christ that is building His church so He can maybe use the Spirit of God to bring about the attitude changes He wants in all His people under your care :)
     
  12. dianetavegia

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    But you know what? Seniors have free time during the day. Our church has every Tuesday set aside for lunches, tours, plays, shopping trips, etc. Fills the long days for our elderly folk.
     
  13. Greg Linscott

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    From the perspective of a 32 year-old pastor...

    Our congregation (quite old when we first came, becoming more diversified as the Lord prospers) has responded quite well to our ministry. I believe we are the youngest family (there are a few singles younger than us) in the church at the present time, but it seems to be a strength on our part. The church members have fallen in love with our three little daughters, and the fact that I have some new (but not too radical) ideas and the energy to see them through has been an inspiration to get things moving.

    As far as brobobby's original observation goes, I'm not sure how literally you are speaking, but I'll answer you literally. Speaking as a young family, it is very difficult to find enough time to spend with your children while also going to work, keeping involved in ministry, and maintaining other commitments (extended family, sports, music lessons, etc.). There could be a number of reasons why "they" seem standoffish:
    </font>
    • They don't want to be recruited for one more project.</font>
    • They want to see if you're going to last.</font>
    • They are content and don't see the need to "get close."</font>
    • They don't like your methods or positions.</font>
    None of these is a reason to give up on them. If God has called you to serve these people, then do it heartily- and be patient with them.

    Just for clarification, though- what do you mean when you say they won't "let you in"?
     
  14. exscentric

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    Last time I read a survey on the stay of pastors it was in the area of 18 months - why wouldn't they see if one was going to last before building a relationship with them? :)

    You describe well the average family with children when you describe your own, they are busy as well and may just not want to take time to get to know you yet.

    Yes, many are content, but you won't budge them, it is the Word and the Spirit that will do that trick - your responsibility is to do the best you can and leave the rest to the Lord.

    As to family time, we pioneered a work years ago and I was working 45 hours a week and preparing five lessons/sermons per week - when our (grown) kids reminisce about their "at home" time the time they seem to have enjoyed most during childhood was that time when we were the absolute busiest
     
  15. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Good idea, but why exclude those who are not seniors? What about a younger person who works night shift, or a home school family with a flexible schedule? Some age-limited activities are ok (maybe the older folks want an activity without noisy kids, etc. erc.) but I think we divide people by age FAR too much.
     
  16. Circuitrider

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    BB, Just a couple of observations from my small spot in the pond. Nine months is not enough time to gain the loyalty of strong families in your church. Proverbial wisdom says it takes 2-5 years to establish your leadership with folks in your new congregation. I have pastored for over 30 years and found that to be true. Some of my most solid people and strongest supporters were those who took years to come to my side. :eek:

    Another observation I have made is that the families who were closest to me in the ministry were those I had led to the Lord and personally discipled. That nurture process builds a strong relationship. ;)

    Just keep preaching, leading, discipling and as someone has said, "they will come." [​IMG]
     
  17. Major B

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    I highly recommend the following book:

    The Seven Churches Not Found in the Book of Revelation, by Gene Mims

    CBD stocknumber: WW24558

    $5.99

    You need to read this book.
     
  18. onestand

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    Jim,

    Personally I wouldn't want to go shopping or out to lunch with the seniors, I wouldn't want to take my kids either unless it was a special time to learn how to help older people out or something.

    There is a good reason for age appropriate activities and times in the service, yes, it's good to have the age groups mingle at times but each group should have thier needs met and all age groups do not have the same needs.
     

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