It’s not necessarily a sin to be under 20 years of age or a pastor under 40

Chris —  October 5, 2010

It’s not necessarily a sin to be under 20 years of age any more than it is a sin to be a pastor who is under 40.

Having said that, there are unique temptations for those who are young.  One of these unique temptations is to presume one has the wisdom which can only be attained over the course of life.

In our church, we are doing a series on Christian decision making.  It’s an extended exposition of Romans 12:1-2.  The ongoing metaphor is to picture Christian decision making as a saw that must be sharpened.  Wisdom is the saw Christians used to cut their way through life.

If you have no wisdom, then your saw is dull.  Even if you have the best of intentions, and work as hard as you can, if you have no Christian wisdom, then making Christian decisions is like trying to cut down an oak tree with a butter knife.

While not all people develop sharp saws at the same rate, it is a biblical principle that only as we get older do we really develop wisdom (Proverbs 16:31, 20:29).  Young people may be physically strong, but those with gray hair are wise.

If you are reading this and you are a teenager, don’t despair that you are working with a dull saw.  That’s part of being young.  But, be sure you lean on your parents and/or others who have sharpened their blades over the years.

If you are a young pastor (say under 40), don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.  Set an example for the believers.  But, remember there is a lot of sharpening of your blade that needs to take place.  Listen to advice and accept instruction.  Eventually you’ll be wise (Proverbs 19:20).  Seek wisdom.  Keep looking for it.  Pursue it like it is treasure (Prov 1-2).

Be Sociable, Share!

4 responses to It’s not necessarily a sin to be under 20 years of age or a pastor under 40

  1. Great post, Christ.

    I agree with you — it’s not a sin to be a pastor under 40 but I, for one, have observed (or shall we say, experienced) the difference in leadership. I don’t disdain the “Timothy’s” but I certainly prefer a Paul to lead. Good advice for the pastor under 40, too.

    Lord bless you.

  2. This is an interesting post Chris. I have had the privilege in my Christian experience to sit under the ministries of two age groups of pastors. The first was a man in his 70’s. He played the wisdom card a lot, but as time went by it became apparent that he made many foolish mistakes that revealed a lack of godly wisdom that eventually led to the demise of his church.

    The other two pastors I have had were both under the age of 40. As a matter of fact, one was under the age of 30! I was actually older than him! Each of these pastors have displayed wisdom in their ministries that far exceeded that of the older pastor. The older pastor’s church is down to about 20 people, where God has clearly blessed the ministries of the other two.

    That really got me thinking about the concept of wisdom and how it is acquired. I do agree that godly wisdom should come with age, but as you stated in your post, that is just a general principle that does not alway correspond with reality. True wisdom comes from God, and He often has gifted younger men with wisdom beyond their years because they humbled themselves and sought Him for it.

    I think that it is also important to distinguish between different kinds of wisdom. For instance, I may go to an older man in my congregation to seek wisdom on buying a house because I know he has wisdom in that area. However, I may not seek that man’s wisdom for leadership decisions in the church because, although he is older, he may lack wisdom in that area.

    With that said, I agree that young pastors need to be continually seeking God for wisdom and confessing that they are unwise so that He can grant it to them. They would also be wise to find older pastors to whom they can turn for help and advice. I heard a man say once, “I’m an idiot, who by the grace of God knows he’s an idiot, and that makes me wise.”

    Thanks for your post!

  3. Jess,

    Your thoughts balance my post in a wonderful way. In fact, I am running them as a post tomorrow!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Are older pastors wiser? « A Brick in the Valley - October 7, 2010

    […] this week, I observed that wisdom should grow with age.  One of the comments balances that post in a wonderful way.  The below comment is from […]