Hooray! I learned this week that I am finally above average at something. For a guy who’s spent his life hovering around average this is really encouraging news! I’m average size. I’ve always been an average athlete. I’m an average husband, an average father, grandfather, golfer, and singer. My birth certificate says my middle name is Scott. I’m surprised my middle name is not Average. It could have been. Hi, I’m John Average McCallum II. I guess that means I’m average twice-over. Average. That’s not so bad. Most everybody is average or they wouldn’t be considered … average.
Ok, I’ll confess that I do have some bright spots. I have always been a slightly above-average student. And while I’m not trying to be prideful, I’ve always thought I’m a slightly above-average pastor. Now I know I am. In fact, it’s been scientifically confirmed. According to a March 1, 2017, report on Barna.com the average age of American pastors is 54. Hey, I’m 60! Boom goes the dynamite—I’m six points higher than average. (I wonder if I should ask for a raise.)
What’s good news for me may not be such good news for the church. On the one hand it could mean that America’s churches are being led mostly by seasoned, experienced veterans who bring a lifetime’s wisdom to bear on the work. But on the other hand, it could mean that America’s churches are being led mostly by a bunch of crotchety old fogies. Each church with an above-average pastor will have to figure that out for itself.
The sad thing about this report is that while the median age of pastors in 1992 was 44, only one in seven pastors today is under 40. Yikes! We need some younger pastors. Pray, please, that God will call more young people into pastoral ministry.
But in the meantime, I’ll try not to gloat about being an above-average pastor. Gloating is not in order anyway unless my gloating is in Christ. I may be a C+ person and a B- pastor, but Jesus is an A+ Savior who can take even below average people and do extraordinary things through their lives. And that doesn't just go for pastors, that goes for us all.