Recently, Carey Nieuwhof posted his concern about the “brain drain” occurring as quantities of established Christian leaders exit ministry. In part, their departure simply aligns with demographics as the Baby Boomers reach the age of retirement. But the impact is conspicuous in Christian ministry where the average age of a senior leader is late 50s and where we’ve seen the pace of departure accelerate since COVID.
Nieuwhof cautions, “The next season of ministry is going to require the best and the brightest leaders the church has to lead into the future.”2 I agree that the church needs bright and adaptive leaders, but “bright” isn’t enough. These leaders must also be passionate about Christ and deeply, spiritually formed. Thankfully, I see these traits present in the two groups of leaders emerging today – Generation Z and new Canadians
Generation Z has only ever known a world that’s perpetually unstable socially, politically, economically, and now medically. They’re adaptive, faithful, and resilient. Many liken Generation Z to the conscientious “G.I. Generation” who kicked-off the 20th Century3 and who were marked by the Spanish Flu, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and introducing world-altering technologies like radio, telephone, and automobile.
New Canadians account for most of Canada’s population growth. And although many are not Christian, those Christians born outside of Canada tend to be more conservative and devout in faith than many born in Canada.4 As Canada’s established churches plateau and decline, we see adaptive, resilient, and faithful multiethnic leaders emerging who prophetically recall us to our first love (Rev. 2:4). Besides emerging leaders, you’re making a difference, too.