What Happens When Boomer Pastors Retire?

On January 1, 2011, the first Boomer turned 65, on that day, 10,000 of them turned 65; the implications for churches are staggering

There will be an abundance of qualified pastors for interim and bi-vocational positions. These Boomer pastors will not be idle. They will be seeking other ministry opportunities, particularly positions with part-time pay to supplement their incomes. Some Boomer pastors will stay at their current positions into their late 60s and 70s. 

 

In an earlier article this year, I focused on the implications of Boomer retirements on congregations across America. The article took a high level look at how churches will be impacted with a large number of members in retirement.

As a reminder, on January 1, 2011, the first Boomer turned 65. In fact, on that day, 10,000 of them turned 65. And that pace of aging will continue until 2030, when every Boomer is 65 or older.

The implications for churches are staggering. This generation is not of the mindset of previous aging generations. According to a Pew Research study, the typical Boomer does not believe old age begins until age 72. And the typical Boomer feels nine years younger than his or her chronological age.

About Those Boomer Pastors

The implications for church leadership are even more challenging when we realize how many Boomer pastors specifically will be retiring. This generation was, until recently, the largest generation in America’s history….

Five Implications

There are many implications about aging and retiring pastors. As I see it, there are five immediate issues that need to be addressed.

  1. There will be more pastoral vacancies than qualified candidates.
  2. Few churches are giving any thought to pastoral succession
  3. There will be an abundance of qualified pastors for interim and bi-vocational positions
  4. Some Boomer pastors will stay at their current positions into their late 60s and 70s
  5. Some Boomer pastors will lead their churches to merge

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