November 10, 2023

Who Will Take Over Once Older Pastors Retire?

Leadership Trends

A recent report from Barna indicates that the pipeline from retiring pastors to replacement pastors isn’t quite connecting for many churches.

While older pastors are doing a good job preparing for retirement, “churches are struggling to set up a new generation for leadership as the older one prepares to step aside.”

Although most pastors are concerned about finding and training the next generation of pastors, this is often viewed as an important but not urgent problem and is therefore not prioritized.

Why This Matters

According to Barna’s report, only 16% of Protestant senior pastors were 40 or younger in 2022. This, along with the higher burnout rates among younger pastors, raises significant concerns for the future of church leadership.

Transitions are challenging, but organizations that invest in their leaders enjoy higher retention, increased stability, and stronger relationships.

Next Step

A successful transition depends on transparent communication, staff harmony, and unity between the leadership and congregation. Assess where you need to initiate leadership development in your church or organization. Learn more by clicking here.