The other day I came across this little video about fishing. Take 2 minutes to watch it.
In the event the video does not work for you, let me just share the overall point I of the video.
Think of fish in three columns - baby, youth, adult. We encourage the taking of the adult fish because they are larger and have had time to reproduce. We do not encourage taking the baby or the youth fish because they have not had time to procreate.
So as we take fish from the adult column, we are removing the large fish from the gene pool. Over time we remove the genes for big fish and then we end up with smaller and smaller fish in the oceans. Fish end up evolving "big" out of the fish gene pool.
So instead of pulling all the fish from one columns, the video advocates that we fish across each column pulling a little bit of fish from each column.
Holding onto that I think of the UMC and clergy.
In the UMC there is a push to get young clergy. The thought being that if we get younger clergy then they will be in ministry longer and replace the older clergy over time. This makes sense like fishing for just the big fish. Over time the unintended consequence of focusing on young clergy means we may very well be evolving wisdom out of the clergy ranks.
If we are focused more on the column of young clergy than we are on middle aged or older clergy then we potentially pull certain "genes" from the clergy ranks. That is we pull the potential wisdom that comes with ageing from the clergy ranks. Thus, the unintentional consequence may be there are ranks of immature clergy who remain stunted in growth and unable to find elder mentors.
To put it another way, are we unintentionally evolving wisdom out of the clergy?