According to a 2017 study of pastors, half of our current pastors are over 55 and 17% of our pastors are over 65.

Since there are over 350,000 churches in America, this means that close to 60,000 pastors are over 65. There will be thousands of pastors retiring over the next few years.

How will they handle this? 

How will they handle retirement? Many pastors who leave full time ministry will have years of good health and a sound mind to continue to serve God. Will they have fruitful ministry in these years? Will they use their years of experience and accumulated wisdom to build up others? Will these years be the most productive years that they have ever had? Will they impact the next generation of local church leadership? Will they be an asset or a detriment to the kingdom?

Ministry is more stressful than ever!

Ministry for the past few years has been very stressful. Instead of a season of leadership innovation, many pastors have simply been responding and adapting to a changing environment. This is becoming exhausting. Carey Nieuwhof and David Kinnaman reveal in their “Church Pulse” podcast of November 21, 2021, that 38% of pastors have seriously considered quitting ministry in the past 12 months. Perhaps more than ever, it is essential that retiring leaders are able to add value to kingdom work!!

There is a great need for younger pastors!

In their 2017 study the Barna organization discovered that there were more pastors over 65, than there were pastors under 40!!! This means that it is imperative that retiring pastors help the younger generation of pastors!! Retiring pastors have a great deal of wisdom, but it is no easy task to reach across 30-40 years and serve, encourage, and mentor a young pastor.

Leaving the Pastorate is not easy!

It is not easy to step out of a full-time pastorate and find your “next.” There are losses to be dealt with, pain to be processed, and new relationships to be formed. It takes time and God’s guidance to figure out how to finish well, so that in the last phase of our lives we will honor God and continue to build his kingdom!

Connect with other on the same Journey!

The ministry strategy of “The Pastors Retirement” is to connect retiring pastors in conversational cohorts. This is a group of 4-8 retiring pastors who walk together through the issues that a retiring pastor must face. The cohort is virtual, but the conversations and issues will be real. You are not alone, and God will use others to help guide your path!

In 2019, after being a pastor for 35 years, Doug moved from Central New York to Charleston SC to be near his family. At the same time, he started “the Pastors Partner” to encourage and help pastors in his “retirement”. A few months into this work, he began to recruit some of his retired friends to join him in caring for pastors.


As he and other retired pastors began to interact, it became clear to him that it was no easy task to leave a busy ministry life, and find the “next” that God has for you. In this process, Doug identified 10 issues, from the Scriptures, that retiring pastors must face as they seek to honor God with this phase of their lives. Doug has talked with dozens of retired pastors, and he has seen the importance of having a group of people to process this change with. The conversational cohorts The Pastors Retirement has will provide that guided interaction.




Founder, The Pastors Retirement

Doug graduated from Bucknell University with a BS in Mechanical engineering and then obtained his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a pastor in one church for 35 years, where He and his wife raised 4 daughters. They now live in Charleston with 3 of those daughters and 8 of their grandchildren.

Doug continues to work with pastors, he is a shepherd with Standing Stone Ministry, and he leads the “aftercare” program for pastors who come to “The Retreat at Church Creek”. He is also pursuing a Dmin with an emphasis on identifying the issues that retiring pastors face and helping them finish well.


A cohort is a group of 4-8 retiring pastors that meet virtually and work through the issues that retiring pastor must face together.  New cohorts are starting soon - get connected now!


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