GENERATIONS & Principles of Staffing With Generational Pastors

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/15/15.

A student once asked me several good follow up questions to my initial suggestion that churches can diversity by hiring generational pastors.  She began by stating, “My understanding is that these pastors move with the people so that there is consistency and ongoing discipleship from the same leader. When is a pastor hired for the new generation?”

I responded that technically and ideally, you would be hiring a pastor every 19 years (the socio-segment of a generational culture preferred by demographers).  But, if you hired her or him sooner, you would be careful to hire someone who is a missionary to the appropriate generational culture.

“By the way, what is the name of the Generation after Y?”

To this I responded that there is not consistency yet, though I heard on the news the other night the commentator calling them Millennials due to their birth around or near the beginning of the new millennium.

“In this scenario there are young children without a pastor.”

Not really.  A Children’s Ministry pastor/director is always designated, and hired if possible, for the children.  He or she would probably report to the generational pastors in charge of the largest parent constituencies.

“How does the cycle actually work? Can I get a clear picture of its movement or fluidity?”

And remember, this is different from the way church is usually led.  But, born-again Christians have not grown as a percentage of society in the last 40 years.  Thus, we must evaluate what we are doing and make adjustments.  And, this is exactly how a mission agency would look at staffing your church!