Monday, December 30, 2013

Last call: Ministry reaping second-career baby boomers

From Chattanooga-

Ray Williams doesn't recommend singing country songs in bars as a prerequisite for ministry, but it worked for him.

"It led me to change my life," he says. "Everybody was saying you ought to be preaching."

The fact that he became an alcoholic and nearly died of alcohol poisoning was also a factor, Williams says.

Today, he is the pastor of One Accord Community Church, a now-thriving congregation in Red Bank that he planted in 2004. Williams, 50, is one a growing number of baby boomers who are making ministry a second career.

A decade-long study of enrollment by the Association of Theological Schools, released in 2009, indicated the fastest-growing group of seminarians were people older than 50. In 1995, according to the study, baby boomers made up 12 percent of seminarians, while today they are 20 percent. Similarly, nearly one-third of students enrolled in Minneapolis-area seminaries are baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

More here-

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