(Lifeway) Average U.S. Pastor and Churchgoer Grow Older

Not only are congregations growing older, so are their leaders. The average clergy member is 57 today compared to 50 in 2000, according to the FACT study. The seven year increase comes despite a small dip in the average age, 58 to 57 years old, in the past five years. Other studies have shown similar increases.

The Faith Communities Today report said, “the postponement of retirement by many clergy and fewer young adults enrolling in seminaries make this general trend unlikely to reverse anytime soon.”

The trends of graying pulpits and pews appears to be related. The older the pastor, the heavier the concentration of senior citizens in their church. Pastors under 45 lead congregations where 27% are 65 and older. Senior citizen pastors, on the other hand, have churches where older adults make up 40%.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture