1 Corinthians 16:10-11 (ESV)
 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am.  So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.Timothy was Paul’s young protégé. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged him to, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12). Timothy may have been young, inexperienced, and insecure, but Paul’s assessment of Timothy was, “he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am” (1 Tim 16:10).
I remember my first opportunities to preach, and the first church I served as their permanent pastor. I first preached at 18 or 19. I was preaching regularly at the age of 20 in two small country churches. I was Pastor Rick at Avery Community Church as I turned 21. Who in their right mind thought I was experienced enough to be a pastor? And yet, God used me. There is a couple in Idaho right now that just celebrated their 44th anniversary. They have been following the Lord together for forty-four years as a result of this 21 year old pastor serving in their community. I had a lot to learn, but God used me.
We tend to look down on those who are different. Older ones question the ability of the younger. Younger ones question the adaptability and relevance of the older. But the question should never be whether someone is young or old, experienced or inexperienced, energetic or seasoned. Ministry is about calling and giftedness. Young and old ought to be shown grace. Pastors are just people and we all have our weaknesses. I recall an older pastor accused of heresy by a church member because he would mix up words in his preaching. He might say Jonah instead of Job, or Joshua instead of Moses. That is hardly heresy. He loved the people he served like no one else. They needed to show him grace. I recall as a young pastor getting on the bandwagon over some issue that had potential to actually hurt the church, but I didn’t see it. It took a wise and seasoned minister to say to me, “I’ve seen these things come and go. Don’t get excited.” And he was right.
Ministry is not about youth or old age. It is about calling and gifting. But it will require a congregation to show some patience and grace toward their pastor. He is called and gifted by God, but he is only human. To those in ministry, remember that you are not always right. Remember that your personal value and significance as a person is determined by your relationship to God, not by the size of your church or the number of converts you see. As a church may we judge one another less, and serve one another more. As Paul said of Timothy, “let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace” (1 Cor 16:11).