The Next Generation

Tim Ponzani

COO, Converge & Regional President, Converge Northeast

  • Discipleship & spiritual formation

According to a recent article in Christianity Today, 1 in 4 pastors plan to retire before 2030. In the same article 54% of the pastors surveyed indicated that their church does not place a strong priority on training the next generation of leaders.  

One of the single most pressing issues facing the church today is the need for called and qualified pastoral leaders. The need is great for pastors, youth workers, worship leaders, church planters and missionaries! 

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15) 

In my own personal journey, there were key adult lay leaders that discipled and encouraged me to consider ministry as a vocation. The first conversation that I remember was when I was 8 or 9 years old. Years later, my high school youth leader encouraged me to consider ministry and I ended up taking courses to become licensed as a preacher in my teens. How are young people as early as elementary age students being urged to consider ministry? 

You have a role in encouraging young people to grow in their faith journey, to exercise their giftedness, and to possibly enter vocational ministry! Pray and consider how you might do this.   

One of the main themes at our Advance Conference is training the next generation of leaders for the church. If you're ready to invest in the next generation, join us! You can register at

Let’s Advance the Gospel together in the Northeast! 

Tim Ponzani, COO, Converge & Regional President, Converge Northeast

Tim serves as the Regional President and Executive Minister of Converge Northeast. Tim also serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff for Converge. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he earned a M.Div. and D.Min in Redemptive Leadership and Organizational Development. Tim and his wife Sharon have been married for over 30 years, are the proud parents of two adult children.

Additional articles by Tim Ponzani