How old should God's servant be as he starts ministering?
By Pastor Steve Van Nattan

There is nothing tricky about the answer to the above question.  In ancient Israel, a man was not considered ready to minister until he was thrifty years of age.  What does the Bible have to say about this?



Numbers 4:35 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:

2 Samuel 5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

David did not inherit the throne-- God chose him.  God made sure David was not an offense of a youth in the throne.

2 Kings 22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

The mention of Josiah's mother was a way of the writer to defer to the parental authority over the boy king.  This implies that Josiah, though in line to inherit the throne, was in submission to his mother as a boy.

That "preacher boy" you are pushing forward is NOT ready for the work of the ministry until he is thirty years of age.  It has nothing to do with his knowledge.  He lacks two things:

1.  Experience and maturity

2.  The respect of the older men.

I reject ALL "what if" notions about the boy you think is the exception.  Any young man who cannot wait for maturity to really be in place is a jerk and not worthy of the Church's attention.


Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

The baptism and temptation of Jesus did NOT come into His life until AFTER he reached his thirtieth birthday.  After these events, He was ready to begin His ministry, and the public received Him.  Of all the young men in human history, Jesus could have skipped the observation of this standard in Israel, for He was sinless and He was God in the Flesh.  But, Jesus patiently waited for year thirty.  He undoubtedly made benches and repaired many tables in the carpenter's shop in Nazareth while waiting to begin His ministry.  

If your preacher boy cannot wait until he is thirty or older, he must be a better man than Jesus. OR, you and your preacher boy are deluded.

I am fed up with this silly show when a 14 year old boy comes weeping to the altar, and he tells the church that he has been fighting God for a long time (at least since he stopped wetting his diaper) and he has finally "surrendered to preach." Big Whup! This kid is not even ready to leave school yet, and he has not been tested with the real world of adult cares and struggles. He has no idea if he will or will not preach one day in the future. Pastors need to stop pandering to this show of will worship. By the way, "called to preach" is not in the Bible anywhere!

The Apostle Paul was a "Pharisee of the Pharisees" so he would have been thirty years of age himself before starting out on a "ministry" to chase down believers in Jesus Christ and persecute them. He would have been even older before Christ knocked him off his horse and started him down the road to Apostleship.

It will be said that Timothy was a "youth" as a pastor.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

This may well mean Timothy was about thirty years old, while ALL of the Apostles would have been much older since they had been with Jesus as established men in middle life.  ALL the Apostles would have been well on in years, including Paul.  Timothy, though thirty years of age, would seem like a mere youth next to Paul and Peter.

Also, note the marks of maturity in the verse at the end.  These life qualities are NOT found in a novice of age 18 or 20.  They take time to develop and mature, and the community needs time to believe the qualities are there to stay and not transient a thin candy shell.

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

If your "preacher boy" is not married, he is NOT qualified to be a pastor or have a pulpit ministry.  I don't care how you re-define the thing, you are playing tricks on the Apostolic order for the Lord's Church by pushing the young men on the saints and  by trying to exalt him as credible.  The above life qualities take time, as we said before, to develop and be approved by the community.  Don't shortcut the Holy Ghost's plans.



"The worlds youngest preacher" -- This is blasphemy