Jared C. Wilson on Young Pastors

From The Pastor’s Justification:

Young men, be teachable. You do not know everything. And your theology and your position are never licenses for authoritarianism. If you don’t want others to look down on your youth, don’t look down on their age.

At conferences and other speaking engagements I often meet young men in the ministry who say things like, “I’m in a church where the gospel isn’t important.” They are looking for advice. “How do I,” they want to know, “as an assistant or intern, influence my pastor or elder board toward more faithful gospel-centrality?” The first steps are these: be submissive, be humble, be subject to your elders, and listen more than you talk. Your pastor may not be as gospel-centered as you’d like, but if he is a Christian who’s been pastoring for a while, he still possesses a wisdom that will benefit you greatly.

Young men, wield your influence peaceably, respectfully, and patiently. You have not been put in your position to establish vision or direct the pastor’s preaching focus. Do not seed division or discord. Shut up and listen a lot more, or get out.

Peter does not say, “Be subject to your elders, unless you disagree with their direction.” This is assuming they are not in sin. Do not submit to sin or heresy. But if it is a variance in philosophy, viewpoint on nonessential matters, degree of gospel-centeredness, or the like, remember that it’s not submission if you agree—it’s agreement. It’s submission if you disagree. If you cannot peacefully and respectfully win your superior to your side, and if you cannot in good conscience submit, the answer is not to stay and grumble (inwardly or outwardly), but to find another local church mission to join and serve.