As you think about passing the baton to the next generation, think about these things. Look to the Word of God to see how Paul and the other Apostles serve as models and examples for us. You might also want to consider listening to the following sermons exposited by Dr. Caldwell from the Scriptures:
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Wise Principles for Pastoral Transition and Mentorship
The Apostle Paul spent his life shepherding and pastoring congregations, pouring his life into Timothy, Titus, and others. As we think about this, we know he was engaged in ministry and served right up to the end of his life, still writing and instructing from a prison cell. Paul didn’t retire from ministry work; he never gave up or decided it was time to do something else. Yet this is often something we hear about when it comes to men who are growing older in the role of a pastor. Some would call for aging men in leading pastoral positions to step down, move out of the way, and allow the next generation of leaders to step in and take over. How should we think of men who are significantly aged in their prospective roles as pastors? Should pastors have limits to how long they serve? Should they plan to retire at a certain age and live out the American dream? Is there ever a time when it’s clear that pastors should pass the baton, so to speak? Join us this week on the Straight Truth Podcast as Dr. Josh Philpot and Dr. Richard Caldwell reflect on some wise biblical principles for bridging the gap from one pastor to the next and training up the next generation.
Dr. Caldwell reminds us of the unique dynamic of the Apostle Paul with respect to Timothy, Titus, and others. Those circumstances aren't exactly repeatable, yet pastors know they are still tasked by the Word of God to take the things they’ve learned and pass them on to faithful men who will, in turn, pass them on to others. There's to be a multi-generational training process that’s repeatedly ongoing. Paul serves as a great example for us. He continued to be engaged in ministry work himself while strategically placing young men in specific places, investing in them, giving instructions, exhorting, encouraging, and praying for them. We can see later where many of the men Paul had invested in were useful to him, as well as encouragers and even comforters to him. We see mutual encouragement, investing, love, respect, and assistance that takes place. Therefore, it’s not really that older men should get out of the way so the younger men can step in. Rather, older men should serve out their days well. They should finish their course as long as they have their health, sharpness of mind, and the ability to speak is still there. They should serve their days out well while they prepare younger men to serve well in ministry. In doing so, they can serve together faithfully, investing in each other’s lives as they go along.
Dr. Caldwell says he doesn’t think in terms of pastors retiring. He says it’s the one job where you actually are better if you remain faithful. Because, as you remain faithful, the older you get, you have more knowledge and more experience in the realm of shepherding. Personally speaking, he doesn't see a place for retirement as we tend to think of it. However, should a man’s mental ability to serve become diminished to the point that he isn’t helpful, he should see that and want to step out of the way. As he considers his love and desire to serve Christ and His people in the church, he should want to do what most glorifies God and what’s best for His people.
The best case scenario for generational change or transition is where you have a pastor/elder who has surrounded himself with other faithful elders in the local church, where they're committed to doctrinal purity and continuance even with second and third-tier issues. In remaining faithful and staying the course, gifted men will be raised up in the church. Preferably, you’ll want a younger man than yourself, a man who has sort of grown up there and cut his teeth as he’s walked through the fires of that ministry’s challenges, a man the people know and he knows them. In this way, the transition from one pastor to the next will be less daunting and disruptive for the overall health and stability of the church. We can just pass the baton to the next guy and step out of the way with a rejoicing heart.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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