After the reports this week that young men are needed in the Clergy to help with a ‘drift’ towards the top end of the age bracket, see http://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/do-we-have-enough-vicars/

Here’s 10 8 tips to get younger men interested in becoming clergy, and to get even teenage boys interested from a younger age.

  1. Tell them the cloaks & cassocks can be used for dressing up as Star Wars characters, and that this is what happens at ordination schools when no one is watching, not even God.
  2. Promise them that no day  exists in the job without some kind of Cake.
  3. Or Tea.
  4. Tell them that if they have a special interest they can be known as the _______ vicar, see ‘gogglebox vicar’ ‘surfing vicar’ ‘cycling vicar’ ‘dancing vicar’ ‘singing vicar’ so ‘dungeons and dragons vicar’ and ‘warcraft vicar’ may still be up for grabs, no one gets prizes for ‘thinking vicar’ so steer clear of the books if you want a decent title. Though pick a good one as itll stick.
  5. Let them know that from being clergy then there’s good opportunities to become chaplains at football clubs.
  6. Usually the Job comes with a house, and DIY is an infrequent and minimal task.
  7. Theres fairly good holidays, and paid for ‘holidays’ called retreats.
  8. And Sabbaticals, theres not many jobs that you might get a few months off every 10 years or so.
  9. hmmm… struggling…

I had hoped to think of a few more, but when i thought further I began to realise quite how tough it is to become a member of the clergy, having worked with different ones, been line managed by them or see the abuse some of them get on social media.

So, actually however much these things sound like it could be made attractive to younger people- ie the under 40’s, what it is is a role that is emotionally demanding, a role of many complex parts, involving changing lifestyles, of serving local communities and a local church (not always the same thing) and being available for crisis moments, funerals. and the joyous moments of weddings and christenings. So, making this kind of role attractive for younger people might be tough, if there arent tough younger men who want to take on the challenge and follow the call.

Maybe its going to have to be a ‘Your Church- needs you’ advertising campaign, or a X factor style audition process to get them interested in applying, but beyond that its difficult to make a serious and important role sound attractive by making it sound easy.

Sorry Bishops, i tried.

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