"Sharp fall in young ministers"?
The headline yesterday was "Sharp fall in young police officers." And it was about the freeze in police recruitment which has meant, not surprisingly, that there are a lot fewer police officers under 26.
What interests me is the assumptions behind this investigation. The assumption is that this is notable, if not regrettable, that we have fewer young police officers.
Some people will often say "aren't police officers looking young?" as they will often say to me "aren't you rather young to be a minister?" And yet it seems to be seen as a good thing to have young police officers.
My question to the Unitarian community is: when did we see a headline that said, "Sharp fall in young ministers"? There very clearly has been a fall in young ministers, perhaps not sharp, but nevertheless significant. When did anyone notice this? When did anyone think this was worth noticing or regretting?
The evidence is that younger ministers are vital to the health and growth of a denomination. And yet when have we noticed this fall, taking stock of it, analysed it and decided to do something about it? When have we decided to actively recruit younger people to the ministry?
We haven't, and I think it's time we did.