The perception that many churches have of young, unmarried single people in ministry is that they are a ministry liability. Morally risky. Inexperienced. Rebels, who buck the system. Unhirable.
I work at a strange place, in comparison to most churches our size. The majority of the staff at NORTHchurch are young, unmarried and–for the most part–inexperienced. In fact, the average age of our staff is 27 (yea, we actually did the math). I asked my pastor, Rodney Fouts, why he chose to hire so many young single ministry leaders(YSML’s). Here’s some of his wisdom along with reasons I wrote for you to consider:
1. Integrity– The perception on YSML’s is that they are moral liabilities. ‘You never know when they’re gonna knock-up a youth-leader in the student ministry!’ However, when you hear about moral failure by a pastor, the vast majority of those reports are of married ministers. Allegations of sexual misconduct among single ministers are rare, or to be fair not as well reported.
2. Hard-working– YSML’s are hard workers. They make up for their lack of experience by giving more, working longer, and following advise.
3. Learners– YSML’s lack of experience also makes them much more open to learning new methods and submitting to ministerial authority. The perception of “rebels” is unfounded. Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) tend to be harmonious and team-orriented.
My challenge for you:
If you are a ministry rookie, keep doing what your doing! You can’t erase long-held false perceptions in one day, but can overcome them with way you live your life. Remember 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
If you are a ministry veteran, cultivate these young leaders! They need your wisdom, your trust, and your love.