In our extra-polarized American society, who will be the role model and moral compass for the next generation? Whether we’re looking for churches that are effectively reaching millennials or Gen Z, or being inter-generational or multi-generational, it’s a challenging time to develop one’s preaching skills, to pastor a local church, and to build a good reputation. (Not to mention the digital fishbowl that amplifies controversies and scandals that have stained and tainted the collective capital “C” church, resulting in one more excuse for people to be deconstructing their faith.)
This thing of pastoral leadership influence is such a fragile things nowadays. Trust in pastors fell for the 3rd straight year and reached an all-time low of 34%, according to the latest Gallup survey in 2023.
What can we do? Who can we look to? Here’s a list of younger pastors and preachers (in their 40s or younger) that seem to me to be doing decently well. (listed in no particular order; subjectively compiled)—
- Derwin Gray
- Steve Carter
- Rich Villodas
- Eric Geiger
- Daniel Im
- Glenn Packiam
- Faith Eury Cho
- Levi Lesko
- Bianca Olthoff
- Jay Kim
- others listed at Brad Lomenick’s Young Influencers List
Of course, they’re not perfect. Most have a pulpit in a church where they’re preaching regularly, along with published books and speaking at conferences to further spread their influence. To clarify, this list came out of a conversation with a friend about who will inspire the next generation of pastors in their 20s, just coming out of seminary, so to speak. In other words, this isn’t about finding the communicators who can reach the masses, per se.
Christian conferences for ages 18-25
2 giant conference this first week of January (Passion and Cross Con) are eachreaching tens of thousands in the age range of 18-25. If these 2 conferences can reach so many next gen where are the churches reaching the next gen?
Previously, back in 2019, I put together a list of millennial pastors. Yes, there are super popular young preachers out there, like Steven Furtick or Michael Todd, and those noted in the viral meme PreachersNSneakers. Currently, to my surprise, this is the most popular post at djchuang.com – a list of black pastors to listen to.