I had some fun last Tuesday in a meeting with several young pastors who were discussing issues pertinent to our ministry culture. We talked for 4 hours about change and relevance and authenticity. We spoke passionately about how older leaders need to respect younger leaders and how desperate we are for dialogue about issues that matter to today’s young leader. It was awesome.
Not until the end of the meeting did anyone bother to bring up the topic of the age of the participants who were there. This meeting was designed for pastors who are under the age of 40. I really wasn’t aware of that detail or else I would have exempted myself. Believe it or not, I am a couple of days over 40. The guy organizing the meeting thought I was much younger.
It was hilarious. We went around the room and it was discovered that I was at least 10 years older than the other guys there. They were shocked. I was pleased that I fit in. I think one of the more beneficial things that happened was that they saw that an older guy can actually be on the same page, can have their best interests at heart. There is at least one antediluvian (old dude) who is not completely out of touch. I am not sure that, had they know my age before we began, they would have accepted my input. As it was, they seemed to embrace much of what I was saying.
It kind of stinks to be one of the old guys. But it is good to be able to break down some stereotypes. The group plans to continue to meet. I think I am invited to keep participating. They probably just need a father figure to compensate for their insecurities. Either that or they need a laugh as I doze off during the meetings.
I’ll bet they will start carding guys in the future…