From Wendy McCaig:
While both Erin and I see ourselves as somewhat of an anomaly, I think there is a reason for our weirdness. We are both women who pursued our theological training in a Baptist setting. Female Baptist seminarians have a far greater challenge than most seminarians in finding positions within local church settings. Both Erin and I are leaders, both are apostolic in our call, both of us are very creative and we are both willing to take risks.
The institutional structures in most Baptist expressions of the church are none of the above. Thus, to be who God created us to be, we had to go outside the traditional church walls. The funny thing is that we are both being called back into “the church” to help change the structures so that others who are shaped like us, do not have such a hard time living their call while staying connected to the institutional church.
For years, the image of a “church planter” was a hipster type male in his late 20’s with a goatee. The idea being that young people will connect with young pastors and that young hip pastors will make the church “cool” to the more postmodern generations and “attract” that generation. However, the hip, cool expressions with their multi-staff structure, full worship band and large group gatherings are expensive and few have proven to be successful. This is one area David Fitch and I totally agree on. The church of the future will likely be smaller and lighter weight. It will have a very low overhead and is likely to have no full-time paid pastor. It will spend less of its energy and resources on itself and invest more in building the Kingdom and going on mission in the world.
This idea of creating church structures that are lighter weight will require that we prepare pastors to be bi-vocational or better yet, that we engage pastors who are already financially stable. There will be fewer and fewer full-time ministerial positions which means that it will be less and less feasible for the 20 something male to move into full-time vocational ministry. Think about it. Most males in their late 20’s are recently married, have few assets of their own to sustain them, and will likely be moving into childrearing years. The stress of starting a family, added to the financial stress inherent in any ministry position, plus the stress of starting something from the ground up is taking a toll on these young pastors and their families.