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Ministry Mid-career Change

Discussion in 'Full and Part Time Ministry' started by ChicanaRose, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    How do you feel about people who go into ministry mid-career?

    Do perceive them as late-bloomers or as someone bringing more experience to the table?
     
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  2. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    Jesus called established fishermen & IRS agents into the ministry (without requiring a degree in Theology!).
     
  3. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Do you know how old they were when they entered ministry? What's the average age of 12 disciples?
     
  4. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think there's no perfect time to come into ministry. At either extreme - either very young or very mature in age - the disadvantages of that life stage might weigh heavier than the advantages. But each stage has its advantages.

    I've met some people who looked down on "late vocations," but I don't really understand that, myself. Shouldn't we be glad any time someone says "yes" to God?
     
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  5. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Would that not depend on their motive? Career or calling? Financial or servitude? Free enterprise or established institution?? etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  6. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    I don't know. Peter had a mother-in-law...
     
  7. gradyll

    gradyll In the grip of grace

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    ministry can happen at any age.
     
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  8. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    For what reasons do they look down on late vocations? Do they assume that a person was disobedient to his calling in his younger days? Or do they just feel that he has passed his prime?
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think there is sometimes an assumption that people have taken the opportunity to work in other fields, make themselves financially comfortable, before embarking on ministry; rather than accepting the (relatively) small stipend of clergy and the sacrifices that come with that.

    I can recall someone saying to me that he didn't have much respect for people who'd worked in lucrative jobs, bought a nice house in a "good" suburb, and put their kids through private school, before offering for ministry (which often means going without those things which come with very good income!)
     
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  10. christine40

    christine40 Well-Known Member

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    follow
     
  11. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    I am a late vocation. I wasn’t in Christ to enter earlier and had familial responsibilities. The Lord worked through that season. My experience and resources are pivotal to my calling. It would be quite the slog without them.
     
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  12. bekkilyn

    bekkilyn Contemplative Christian Supporter

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    I grew up in a denomination that did not encourage women to go into ministry, so I hadn't believed it possible until later in life and after having gone through large amounts of suffering.
     
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  13. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    What about divorced ministers? When I was a practicing Catholic, our parish pastor was a divorced man. God worked all things towards good (Rom. 8:28), and led his singleness to ordination.

    Everyone loved him. He was a humble, empathetic, and patient man, having experienced the richness of God's redemption. He passed away a few years ago from cancer (may he rest in peace).
     
  14. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Moses was a late bloomer. Jesus was past His youth.
     
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  15. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Motives are important no matter how old you are. It's also important to get your own issues sorted out before proceeding. Some people study psychology wanting to figure themselves out. But if they don't have their own issues sorted out, they cannot be fully effective in counseling people.
     
  16. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I would expect the selection process to take into account the reason for the divorce, and personal history since that point. I don't think it should be an automatic deal-breaker, but nor should it be ignored as not being one possible flag for issues.
     
  17. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    A lot of psychologists use patients for insight into themselves.
     
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  18. carp614

    carp614 Member

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    It seems to be that there is room in ministry for specialization to which a "mid career" person would be well suited. in my own case for example, as a recovering addict I could be useful to the Lord in a ministry like Celebrate Recovery. But it could be argued that what makes me useful in that type of ministry would probably disqualify me from overall pastoral leadership. I have a "why you shouldn't" story as opposed to the classic purity model those who enter into ministry early tend more to have.

    Another way to look at it; Don't pastors tend to specialize when possible? Some are evangelists, some or excellent communicators, some have a heart for counseling, and so on. What one is good for in their 20's may be different in their 50's.
     
  19. ChicanaRose

    ChicanaRose Well-Known Member

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    Yes. And their secular background could be a contribution too (former teachers, social workers, etc.)
     
  20. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think specialisation is a luxury for big churches. In small churches, where there might be only one minister, you have to try to be all things to all people, to a large degree.

    I mean, I know that I have gifts for teaching, and I'd love a ministry where I could be what some churches call a "teaching pastor" or the like, but I still have to do all the other stuff because there just isn't anyone else here to do it.
     
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