I have stated before that I am now 60 years old as of October 9th. (It is not too late to send me birthday wi$he$). I can remember thinking, “Boy, I can’t wait till I’m old enough to (you fill in the blank). ”
When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to get out and “tell it like it is.” Aaaaah yeah.
When I was a Youth Pastor, I couldn’t wait for the time I became a “real Pastor.” You know…the guy who no longer had to stay up all night with kids doing things like All Night Rock-a-Thons and other silly stuff like that.
Then I became “real Pastor” (Translated: Senior Pastor) and found out age meant a whole lot of difference. I needed to be 30…like yesterday. 30 seemed to be the magic number when a pastor became a “mature pastor.” He had reached the Age of Accountability in ministry. 30 was seen as the age when he passed from boyhood to manhood. Or to put it in church language: passed from childhood to pastorhood.
Then I heard the real age of pastors was between 35 and 50. This was seen as their “Golden Years,” the height of their energy, creativity, and ability.
50 started the downhill slide to the old folks home. The man lost his energy. His creativity went out the door. And his ability…well, let’s just say his powers of memorization left him. When I started looking to move from the previous church I served, some churches wrote me off because I was past the “Magic 50.” I was approaching 53, a real downhill skier. But the church I currently pastor was looking for someone older (translated: more mature) because it was such a young congregation in age and history (only one year). So for me, age was a good factor.
I still feel I have years to give to the Lord and His church. I still get up early. I still love preaching without a pulpit and few notes. I still love studying and reading. I am not ready for the rocking chair just yet. So I was pleasantly surprised when my brother Rob, who is 18 months younger than me, gave me a gift this past weekend of a plaque with a saying:
YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO CLIMB A NEW HILL, SET A NEW GOAL OR DREAM A NEW DREAM.
I have no clue who said it. BUT. I. LOVE. IT!!! That sums up my philosophy toward ministry at this juncture of my life. It is easy to look at us old duffers and write us off, but that would be a big, big mistake. NO ONE is ever too old to push forward (we just have to do it a bit more carefully).
Is there someone you look up to who is older? Is there an older pastor who could use your encouragement? Take a moment today to drop him a note or give him a call. You, and he, will be glad you did.