lang dating dan web streaming media - Pastor dating parishioner

The first response I typically get after I am asked this question when I am guest preaching at a church is “don’t worry, there still is time.” This is my favorite response as I believe many people think one must find their soul mate by a certain date or age.

“Needless to say, they looked disappointed when I told them I had no children and was not married.” While there are more second career individuals becoming pastors later in life than before, there are also more unmarried or divorced individuals in ordained ministry than previous generations.

While I applaud this new trend of diversity in ministry, the reality can also be hard for single ministers who are more inclined to feel isolated and lonely in their call.

And sadly, while many churches may be open to having an unmarried person as their pastor, many churches have a hard time giving up the fantasy of calling a young pastor (with a baby in hand!

) who will enter their church with an equally enthusiastic spouse and together, their young family will save their church by bringing in “the young people.” Another friend of mine, a 35-year-old woman who is a pastor of a small rural church, shared her painful story about not only being single in ministry, but also being divorced.

She said one of the most difficult days in her life was telling her congregation that she and her husband (who came with her to her church) were divorcing.

While she said her small and mostly older congregation supported her through her divorce, it was the snide comments from parishioners that caused her to feel hurt – including one woman who said she was sad there was not going to be young children in the manse. “While there may be an expectation that you are married with children if you’re a man, parishioners tend to think there is something wrong with you if you’re a single pastor and are a woman.” While it’s my hope that churches will be increasingly open-minded in calling single pastors, its also my hope that mainline denominations will create resources and communities for clergy who are single, especially since doing ministry can be lonely and isolating.

One way I already am already seeing this done is through Facebook groups for single ministers who support and encourage one another.

For example, one group includes pastors of different mainline denominations across the country who share funny stories about trying to date while in ministry.

Other places, pastors share painful confessions of how hard it can be to officiate a wedding when you are single — especially if you are a divorced pastor.

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