08, 2012 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
recent review of pastoral demographics in the United States reveals that nearly
50 percent of Seventh-day Adventist ministers will reach retirement age within
10 years, a discovery that is prompting ministry officials to examine potential
scenarios to address the coming dilemma.
will the denomination hire a new crop to replace retiring ministers, or will it
urge much of its experienced, aging workforce to continue working longer than
previously planned? Each option has its own advantages, and church leaders say
they’re exploring a mix of both possible solutions.
age is considered 66.5 for the year 2022, according to the U.S. Social Security
choice of whether to retain ministers past retirement age into their late 60s and
early 70s keeps experienced ministers on staff, church leaders say, but it
leaves several generations between pastors and the young adults and teens they
minister to. Yet this demographic is small – leaders say the median age of an
Adventist in North America is 56.
leaders address the situation could affect everything from hiring requirements
and remuneration policies to seminary tuition and the cultural needs of the
region’s diverse congregants. All aspects of developing and supporting
ministers could be up for analysis.
going to be looking at how we can have top-level quality pastors in this
opportunity that’s presenting itself,” said Dave Gemmell, an associate director
of the Ministerial Department of the church’s North American Division (NAD).