Hacking Clergy Retirements

In many conferences, there's a mass exodus of the "old guard" of clergy; megachurches are seeing their pastors retire,larger churches are seeing their founding pastors retire, and there's a great need for seasoned middle-aged and young clergy.  I wonder how the retiring clergy could more effectively phased-out of church leadership while bestowing helpful thoughts and wisdom to the next generation...

In the business world, when people retire they get a party and a gold watch.  Except nowadays at American Express (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan):

Rather than retiring and leaving the company at once, participants gradually give up their day-to-day responsibilities, while replacing some of their free time with activities like mentoring and teaching master classes to their successors. In addition, they get more time out of the office doing whatever they want—be it planning for life in retirement or doing charity work. The phased retiree continues to receive a portion of his previous salary, benefits as usual, and the company in turn gets to hold on to some of its most valuable employees a year or more past traditional retirement age.
Are any churches or conferences experimenting with clergy retirements that they want to discuss?  I could see this implemented in a few ways:
  • Retiring clergy go to "half-time" while the incoming minister becomes the full-time minister.  This could lead to conflicts of personality and people not seeing the new pastor as the "real pastor" but could be helpful to get on-the-church training.  
  • Retiring clergy could become mini-district-superintendents and lead accountability groups for a cluster of clergy for a year after retirement.  They would have the experience to be helpful, and be "outside the system" enough that clergy would confide unofficial thoughts with them.
  • Retiring clergy could read HX.net and train their lay leadership to make their pastors irrelevant in a few years time. :-)
Other thoughts on clergy retirements and how to keep the wisdom in the pools while allowing for new growth and ideas?  Discuss.


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