A good pastor friend of mine stood out. He said that he didn’t believe a guy should plant a church until he was 35 years old. His main point centered around the missional concept that a church planter will attract people on a ten year age radius. This being the case, 35 is the ideal planting age for a pastor becuase he will attract young professionals and young families, and those two groups will attract others. Not only do I agree with this radius, but it was what I used as a reason for a 26 year old to plant a church in Las Vegas. This would allow us to hit a radius that we are barely hitting, a young/hip church that could reach an unreached group in Vegas: the young/hip 18-35 year old demographic.
While I do not think I should have been questioning whether the concept was right, I do think it would have behooved me to ask whether I had the capacity and character to swim against the grain and be the man that reaches that demographic. Or to say it differently, instead of questioning the validity of the concepty, I should have questioned whether it applied to me or not. The reason I couldn’t do that:
I would even clarify that our hearts are broken for Las Vegas. Especially for the young adults. It kills me that most churches are geared towards young families almost exclusively. Not that these are bad, or that we even have enough churches geared that way (especially with only 5-8% of our city going to an evangelical church on Sundays). It just that there are hardly any venues for young adults in Las Vegas to hear about Jesus in a context that is relevant to them. This was my heart for wanting to be the 26 year-old pastor who planted a church to reach that demographic.
But the question arises when a young guy is unwilling to ask himself the hard questions about his ability or preparedness to accomplish the task: who’s vision is he carrying out; his, or God’s?
May we all, always be willing to ask this. That God may get his glory, and we might be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the impossible: build His Kingdom.