What are some practical ways a pastor can train younger men for ministry?

  1. Share your pulpit (carefully). Look for ways to give doctrinally and pastorally reliable younger men in your congregation opportunities to preach and teach—even if they’re not practiced public speakers.
  2. Teach your congregation to care about other churches and God’s broader kingdom purposes, so they will share the agenda of raising up pastors. Encourage them that it will serve them better in the long run. This will help them to be more generous, prayerful, and patient with younger, inexperienced men.
  3. Publicly pray for other churches and pastors by name.
  4. Look for other opportunities to “give away” teaching and evangelism opportunities to younger men, such as Sunday School classes, public prayer, or service leading. Coach them through it. Provide feedback.
  5. Hold a regular “service review.” Invite participants to review the events of the day. Invite feedback on your preaching or leading. Model how to give and receive godly encouragement and criticism. (Tips: emphasize the biblical, theological, and pastoral rather than the personal and preferential; be honest, but don’t pile too many critiques on top of the young and inexperienced all at once; look for evidences of grace.)
  6. Set a personal example in evangelism, befriending non-Christians, and discipling younger Christians. 
  7. Consider developing a pastoral internship.
  8. Give away lots of good books, and invite them to a follow-up conversation.
  9. Invite younger men into your study to work and read as you do the same.
  10. Invite people into your sermon preparation process. Discuss the text, and invite people to think through sermon applications with you.
  11. Think of any windows in your life and ministry that you can invite developing leaders into: meals, errands, hospital visits, outside speaking engagements, conferences.
  12. Discuss non-sensitive pastoral issues and ask for their input. This will train them to think theologically and pastorally and might even give you fresh insight.
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