How Old Should You Be...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by 2Timothy4:1-5, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. 2Timothy4:1-5

    2Timothy4:1-5
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    ...to be a preacher?

    I know about the qualification of being a preacher / teacher; having read numerous post here on the BB concerning the subject.

    My question deals with age. I came across a web site while surfing ( http://jeremyfarley.freewebspace.com ) of a 17 yeard old 'preacher' offering his sermons on audio tapes.

    Is 17 old enough to be sufficiently trained to be a preacher? Just wondering.

    Thanks

    Kenneth
     
  2. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
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    Though no particular age is specified in the New Testament for preaching, the age at which one entered the Levitical priesthood is given in the Old Testament; “This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Numbers 8:24).

    However, preparation for this work began at the age of twenty “These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward.” (1 Chronicles 23:24).

    I would not discourage any young man from preaching, but having looked at this young man's website and noticing he is only saved less than two years, and preaching just over one, IMO he would fall into the category of a "novice" (1 Timothy 3:6). The fact that he already believes his sermons are worth paying for seems to further cement this view.

    Even the apostle Paul, who completed his Rabbinical training under Gamaliel, was required to spend three years in the desert with the Lord preparing for Christian service.

    In Christ,

    David
     
  3. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
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    Don't expect his, "It has been my experience..." line to go over very big. :D
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    The only "young" preachers I've heard in recent years (age 20 or so) have been PARROTS of men they admire - Jack Hyles, Jim Vineyard, Ron Comfort. They "claimed" the same illustrations as their own, in one case ludicrous as the fellow was 20 and he spoke about winning a fellow who had fled from Cuba on an airplane flight 10 years before.

    Right.

    NOT A NOVICE is in the list on I Tim 3 for a reason! A young man may occasionally "preach" but it would be a rarity to see anyone under 25 that I would sit still and even listen to.
     
  5. TheOliveBranch

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    The age of the preacher shouldn't be as much of concern as should be the content. And the young preacher should also realize he is to be accountable for what he preaches.
     
  6. dianetavegia

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    When our church first called our previous pastor I heard people say 'he's awful young'. He was 39 at the time. I always liked having a pastor older than me but now that I'm 52 they usually are a lot younger. Odd, tho. I end up being good friends with them no matter what their age. However, I would not want a pastor who was VERY young!
    Diane
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    I am not so sure that physical age is the question, but spiritual and mental maturity. This obviously does not include life experience, which is a benefit.

    I was ordained at 20, but often wished I had more experience when in the field and alone. My share of mistakes were made that a more experienced pastor might not have made, but no harm was done.

    When we try to copy our heroes, we usually copy their mistakes.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. amixedupmom

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    :eek: I once heard a wonderful (although short) sermon form a 15 year old in our church. He's very gifted and I think he did a wonderful job. [​IMG] ......

    God Bless
     
  9. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    My pastor was very young when he was voted in to be the Pastor of my church.

    I don't know but the preacher boys at our christian school start preaching sermons when they are young teenagers. They aren't ordained yet, and they only preach in competitions and youth confereneces...but it seems to me that a person can be called into the ministry at a very young age.
     
  10. Kent Witcher

    Kent Witcher
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    I surrendered to the call at age 15 and was ordained at age 21. And still at age 24 I want to be judged on what I preach and how I live and raise my family based soley on the scriptures. Everything else is just opinion and doesn't have any real bearing on what is pleasing to God or good for his people. [​IMG]
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Christ began His ministry when He was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23). This seems about right to me for an ordained minister to enter a pastorate, though that is just my opinion.

    Paul told Timothy to not let anyone despise him for his youth (1Timothy 4:12) but it has been conjectured that Timothy was in his mid-30s at the time. The Jews of the time were rather strict in their traditions regarding age limits upon offices.

    I'll back that assertion with a link. [​IMG]

    http://www.studylight.org/com/pnt/view.cgi?book=1ti&chapter=004
     
  12. Jim1999

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    Clint, I have no question about the age of Timothy as a "youth".

    Times are different. We have access to a greater education at a younger age. Cultural differences are much greater to-day than then, and a much quicker pace of living.

    In the Plymouth Brethren, you will seldom see a youngster preaching. They always select older brethren to do the preaching.

    Then, we have giants like Spurgeon who was preaching at 17 (pastor at Waterbeach at 19, in 1853, just 3 years after his conversion).

    As an example, I spent most of my life in church schools, and the Bible was not a stranger to me when I entered upon ministry in my teens. I did lack the maturity which comes with age, and this is my only question about entering ministry at an early age.

    I hate to think of the men we would miss had we imposed an age limit.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Indeed, this is my concern as well in "youthful" pastors.

    I considered splitting hairs on my initial post as the term "preacher" is not necessarily synonymous with "pastor." Insight and revelation can come to and be imparted by any age or gender. Paul even speaks of women "prophesying" in church in 1 Corinthians 11:5 and again speaks of each person who is "sitting down" prophesying in turn in 14:30-31. "Preacher" or "prophet" is not an office.

    "Pastor," on the other hand, IS an office. The term is synonymous with "elder," a term that by its own nature implies aged.

    In modern terminology, we often equate the terms "pastor" and "preacher." It was under that presumption that I made my post. To the contrary, however, orating skills are never mentioned as a qualification for being an elder.
     
  14. gb93433

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    inistry starts the moment we become a follower of Jesus Christ. Some are more mature at eight than others are at sixty.

    One of the qualifications of a pastor or elder is that they are a leader. To prove this I would want to look at whose following. If there are no followers then they are not a leader, period. Don't invent it. If God has not given then why should we give them what God has not. Don't put people in leadership when they have not demonstrated a certain amount of leadership already. I can show you an elder board that just sits around and talks about how to reach people but are not doing it now. So you know what the leadership in that church is like.

    A close friend of mine who is an excellent preacher and pastor started pastoring at 15. He was not old enough to drive a car so his dad took him to visit people. He is a genuine man of God and has won many many people to Christ.
     
  15. Bro. James Reed

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    While I know many young men who are exercising in the pulpit, myself included, the youngest age I have ever seen anyone ordained was 25. It's usually pretty rare to see someone so young being ordained into the PB church. If I had to guess, I would say the average age of a newly ordained Elder in the PB church is about 40. Most men will exercise their gift for 5-10 years before being ordained.

    While I have no problem with any young man filling the stand if he feels impressed with a subject from God, I would think twice before ordaining any many younger than 25 or so. For the most part because anyone younger than that is almost guaranteed to be a novice.

    BTW, I would say Christ started his ministry when he was just a boy. This can be seen when he was in the temple talking to the men and asking questions (the philosophical and rhetorical kind).

    Bro. Clint, I know you mentioned it, but I think we really do have to make the distinction between ordained and unordained preaching. While any young man can preach, the office of elder/bishop/pastor denotes a position of authority, responsibility, and leadership that a younger man may not be experienced to handle without many years in the church and a good ministerial foundation.

    God Bless. Bro. James
     
  16. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    From experience, I have more concern about the pastors who stick around too long, set in their ways, and don't know enough to retire.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Gina B

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    I've heard nice content from teens during "teen night", but that should be about the extent of it IMO.
    I tend to enjoy sermons from much older pastors. To be honest, I wouldn't want someone my own age to be my pastor because I wouldn't trust me to have 100% pure thoughts. [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Lok at some of the men who have made a tremendous impact on the world for Christ and how old they were. John Mott was 25. I believe Billy Graham was somewhere around 21 or maybe younger.

    The average pastor in Uganda has been a Christian for three years and pastoring two. How's that for maturity.

    Years ago a young lady changed the youth group. It went from about 30 to about 150 because her and a friend started a Bible study for girls at the high school in her sophomore year in high school.

    Over and over we see examples of how God has used and will use men and women who are sold out for him.

    The great thing about the Christian life is that we must be humble. It is not about a program but about God. It is not about us but Him.
     

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