Including young adults in leadership roles : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Yesterday was my first sunday at my second church that I pastor. Wayman chapel in billings, montana. I always wanted to be a circuit rider so I am thrilled the Bishop gave me this appointment.

Imagine my surprise when I met with my stewards and trustees, 99 percent of them are between the age of 20 and 26!!!!! They are incredible and organized.

My stewards paid for my hotel room, though there was not enough money left in the church account. They talked a hotel into offering a ministerial discount. My head trustee age 22 immediately let me know of the impending dead line for our property taxes that are due at the end of the month and a plan to pay them.

Since I commute 500 miles round trip to my new church and I am an insulin dependant diabetic, stewards had food for me to take on the bus. And because I can't stand for the entire service they are getting me a special high chair to sit at the pulpit.

I have never experienced such organization and love in all my years of ministry. I love them to pieces, I kept thinking how many other churches could benefit from having the leadership of young adults.

I hope we will encourage more young leaders in our churches. I am so honored and blessed to have them.

Do any of you have young adults and youth in leadership roles in your church?

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2004


Before I moved, the pastor at my home church developed a junior stewards program. the church is a large church with large families and a long history. the junior stewards were able to learn and were ready to move into those positions.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2004

Yes, young adults are in leadership roles in our church as stewards and trustees; however, as 21-26 year olds they prefer "not" to be called "junior" anything--according to the law they are adults (they can vote at age 18?).

As an aside, Rev. Rogers, you commute 500 miles round trip to your new church? By bus? Are you planning on relocating to Billings soon? That seems a bit extreme even for the most enthusiastic circuit rider. I thought commuting 150 miles one way for my uncle was a lot, particularly during the midwestern winters. As a circuit rider, Rev. Rogers, do you have what is called a two-point charge? Are you still pastoring the church you and your daughter founded in Bozeman, or has someone else been appointed there? Just curious, particularly since you have lifted up some major health issues that may impact this major commute. God bless. A.J.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2004

Sister Jackson, thank you for your questions. I still have my church in bozeman. Traveling that distance is not a big distance for us in the west. We think nothing of going to salt lake city for a day of shopping;-) In the past, ministers from seattle would commute to Montana for a circuit.

I have had diabetes for 40 years and am an insulin dependant diabetic, complications have attacked my legs and feet. But all of these things were discussed with my doctor and bishop before my appointment. I use a cane to walk.

My new congregation is thrilled to have me and we are making big plans.

As an aside there are 5 million diabetics that have peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and the majority of us are living productive lives. My hope is that more and more disabled clergy will have opportunies to pastor. At this point the only thing I can't do at my church is run a marathon;-)

I wanted this circuit and I am honored and pleased that my Bishop has allowed me to pastor such an historic church.

My congregations are happy with me and I thank God I have been blessed doubly!!

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2004

I only expressed concern because my sister is also an insulin- dependent diabetic as well, and the disease has been quite debilitating. However, as Halle Berry has shown us, who is also a diabetic and has fought insulin dependency through weight training, the sky is the limit in terms of what we are capable of doing (she won an Oscar). My experience in the western part of the United States has only taken me to the urban centers of California and Texas. To a midwesterner, like myself, a 500 mile, circuit commute sounds extreme. I am glad to know that you wanted that circuit, and may God richly bless and keep you and your congregations, Rev. Rogers. God bless.


-- Anonymous, November 18, 2004

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