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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by jacob62, May 2, 2005.
I am curious as to why preachers retire?
Some of them don't. They are still preaching in their seventies and eighties. I know some like that. I know of one well know preacher who died this last week of a heart attack. He had just finished preaching twice in the last two or three days preceding his death. He was 72.
Most of the preachers I know, in fact, do not retire. Due to age, they may slow down, and may ask for help. They may step down as the senior pastor of the church, but never quite completely retire. But then I travel in a different circle of preachers than many others do.
It is a tough job being a pastor. After awhile, it is very hard to keep up and function at a level that is necessary to do a good job. Therefore, alot of guys will retire. In the LCMS pastors generally still work part time after retirement by filling in for vacancies, guest preaching, or assisting a full-time pastor who has a large number of shut-ins.
If a person can preach without having to deal with a congregation administratively, I could see a lot less retirement. The strain that comes from leading a congregation comes from infighting, dealing with hiring/firing, struggles with raising enough money, having to deal with (broken toilets, cracked parking lots, fallen trees, vandalized cemetary, etc). It if the ministry included preaching, worship, visiting the sick, etc. Then more would stay. People love doing the word of God, it is the others stuff that is difficult and draining.
The apostles appointed elders to pastor a church. 'Elders' is a translation of 'presbuteros' which can be translated as 'older man.' In fact I Timothy 5:1 and I Peter 5 indicate that 'presbuteros' does indeed refer to older men. If we look at the Old Testament, we should expect the young to turn to the old for wisdom and advice.
I think it is sad that the role of overseer of the church has been turned into a professional position you go to school to. Instead of having older men in this role, some churches hire relatively young men and then when the men get really old, wise, and useful, expect them to retire. It doesn't make much sense if you are supposed to be getting your ideas about doctrine and practice from the Bible.
Link that would make sense if Timothy was an old man. He was in fact a young man and that must be taken into account since the letters were addressed to the church through him. The terms are used to interchangeably to make a technical use case out of the words. The term may not be refering to physical age rather growth in the faith, hence the prohibitions against neophytes.
I have seen young men of great intelligence and wisdom and I have seen older men who were rather foolish. I am inclined to believe the intent of scripture is not age, but learned wisdom and prudence.
Most of the early disciples were young in terms of how long we are expected to live to-day. This is certainly the opposite to Old Testament leaders in general, who were elder statesmen, with some exceptions, such as David and even Solomon at the beginning.
I also think we have access to knowledge to-day that was not readily available in years past. Yes, I believe the Bible is the complete word of God, but I do not believe for a minute that its contents are static. They adjust to the times, but always in accord with its witness. Once we walked the earth in sandals, now we wear marching boots.
As to retirement, there are many reasons to retire. Age being one. We may not lose our knowledge, but certainly we lose some things, especially the speed of doing things in this fast moving world. Some men never learn the wisdom of stepping aside to allow younger men to make their contribution. Retirement from office does not have to diminish our contribution. We just make our contribution in different avenues. I still preach, do visitation, personal witness and assist younger men in the background.
It is something like the preacher who decided to speak on tithing. At the outset, he had my attention. He went on to lay out the details, and I was convicted to give. He carried on and on and before he finished I was absolutely certain he intended for me to give elsewhere where my monies would be best spent. He didn't know where to quit. So it is with retirement. I am enjoying my some 13 years of retirement.
Same reasons other people do.
Most pastors I know (including my dad) only semi-retire and tend to stay active in the ministry one way or another. My dad worked for a mission board and was the interim pastor in another church. However, the day to day grind of a full-time pastorate gets to be overwhelming as time goes on.
Ok thank you
Was Georgi Vins, a Russian preacher retired?
I don't see any reason why a Pastor could not retire from his pastorate, or better yet, ask the church to appoint someone better able to carry out the tasks because of his age or health or what have you.
As far as preaching, that is a lifetime calling which one can never truly retire from.
However, there is a difference between a Pastor and an Elder. Pastors lead the flock while Elders feed the flock.
My uncle retired as pastor of his church a couple of years ago, after about 25 years as Pastor. He still attends and preaches there about twice a month, but now he just doesn't handle the pastoral duties. He will be 80 on May 29th.
I am sure that as long as his health permits, he will continue to go to church and continue to preach the gospel, but I don't see him being able to handle the care of the flock anymore because of his age and health, unless of course there were mitigating circumstances requiring his taking the flock again for a short while.
Bottom line, I don't believe a true preacher/elder can retire.
The best Pastor we ever had, was reluctant to stay anywhere longer than about 7 years, because he thought his message would become stale, so he moved on. His last move was to Jesus.