Matthew R. Perry

How Old Are Most Southern Baptist Pastors?

In Church Life, SBC on April 23, 2007 at 8:31 am


Tony Kummer brought this to my attention. I, too, was surprised to see that over half of all SBC senior pastors are 50 years of age or older.

No wonder when I attend the Southern Baptist Convention that most people look at me with shock when I tell them I’m a pastor (I’m 35, by the way). I notice that my age bracket only represents 14% of all SBC pastors.

I’ll ask the same questions Tony did:

  • Does this surprise you like it did me?
  • What significance does this have on the churches?

(You can feel free to leave a comment on Tony’s blog entry as well — I know he’d appreciate hearing from you.)

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  1. I’ve been trying to reconcile this with the average tenure of pastors. I’ve always thought younger guys are more prone to move. But if this chart is correct then a lot of older pastors are moving too often as well.

  2. Dude,
    People tell me I look like I’m 14. Feels good to be in the minority.

  3. Mark:

    You just need to grow a goatee like me! That’ll add a few months to the look! Works for me!

  4. It didn’t really suprise me because I have a pastor at home who is under 50 and then I came to college and my pastor is 35 so thats what I have known. I think it would a be a grand thing if these pastors who were over 50 had been ministering at the same church since they were say 35, but I haven’t seen the numbers on that, but feel like it isn’t the case.

  5. This information surprises me. For me it raises questions such as, Where are the 20-29 year olds? Are they attending but not taking hold of a committed membership? Are they going elsewhere? Is this a fallout from poor discipleship from parents and churches that occurred when this age group was still living at home?


  6. Oops. Should have read the title. “Pastors”. For a minute I swore it said “average age of MEMBERS”.

    Don’t I feel silly.

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