Compiled by Amy Hanson, Ph.D.
The following books, articles and websites are resources I have found helpful over the past 17 years of ministry. There are many other great resources available which are not listed here. I will periodically seek to add to this list. Some of the suggestions are Christian and some are secular.
Ministry with the New-Old
Baby Boomers and Beyond: Tapping the Ministry Talents and Passions of Adults over 50 (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)
This book is a wake-up call for church leaders as to the enormous group of people entering their retirement years who are active, healthy and capable of making significant contributions for the Kingdom of God.
Who Stole My Church: What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century
(2007) By Gordon MacDonald, Published by Thomas Nelson.
A fiction book that highlights many of the feelings that adults in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are experiencing as their churches are changing in style and format. It shows how the young and the old can work alongside one another and how older adults can continue to have an important role in the life of a church. This is a great book to use in a discussion group.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: Meaningful Ministry with Baby Boomers in Your Church and Community. (2009). By Bill Craig and Donna Gandy. Published by LifeWay Press.
A concise look at the baby-boomer generation and how its members are relating to the church.
Additional Resources for Understanding the New-Old
Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life
(2007) By Marc Freedman.
Published by Perseus Books Group, New York.
The Power Years: A User’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life
(2005) By Ken Dychtwald and Dan Kadlec. Published by Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.
Christian Resources for Boomers & Beyond
Boomers on the Edge: Three Realities That Will Change Your Life Forever
(2008). By Terry Hargrave. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.
When They Turn Away: Drawing Your Adult Child Back to Christ
(2010) By Rob Rienow. Published by Kregel. Visionary Family Ministries
Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance
(1997) Bob Buford. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.
The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire-Use Your Time, Skills, and Resources to Change the World
(2009). By Kay Marshall Strom. Published by Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL.
Finishers Project – This organization helps Christian adults find mission opportunities – either short-term or as a second career. While they are available for any age, they especially encourage middle age and older adults to spend their remaining years doing something purposeful that will have a Kingdom impact. www.finishers.org
Ministry with Older Adults
Christian Association Serving Adult Ministries (CASA Network) – An international organization that provides resources for church leaders who are ministering with people in the second half of life. www.gocasa.org
Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century: An Inquiry Approach
(2008). By Richard H. Gentzler Jr. Published by Discipleship Resources, GBOD The United Methodist Church, Nashville, TN.
White Unto Harvest: Evangelizing Today’s Senior Adults. (2003). By Charles Arn, Published by Institute for American Church Growth, Monrovia, CA.
Catch the Age Wave: A Handbook for Effective Ministry with Senior Adults. (1999). By Win & Charles Arn, Published by Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, MO.
Amazing Grays: Unleashing the Power of Age in Your Congregation
(2000). By Leona & Richard Bergstrom. Published by: Church Health, Bellingham, WA.
Add Life to Your Years: Aging with Passion and Purpose. By Ted W. Engstrom, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton,IL.
A book full of inspirational stories of men and women who are serving God and others in
the second half of life.
The Intergenerational Church: Understanding Congregations from WWII to www.com(2008). By Peter Menconi, Published by Mt. Sage Publishing.
The first half of this great book explains the characteristics of the 5 living generations: GI, Silent, Boomer, Generation X and Millennial. The second half of the book gives practical ways for adapting preaching, teaching, worship and outreach in such a way that every generation is involved.
One Church Four Generations: Understanding and Reaching All Ages in Your Church (2002) By Gary L. McIntosh, Published by Baker Books.
This book explains the different characteristics of each generation present in the Church today and then gives suggestions as to how to minister with each generation.
We’re In This Boat Together: Leadership Succession Between the Generations. (2008). By Camille F. Bishop, Published by Authentic.
Is The Era of Age Segmentation Over? An Interview with Kara Powell in Leadership Journal, September 2009
Spirituality and Aging
Aging and God: Spiritual Pathways to Mental Health in Midlife and Later Years. (1994). By
Harold G. Koenig. Published by Haworth Pastoral Press, New York.
Aging, Spirituality, and Religion (Volumes 1 & 2) (2003). By M.A. Kimble and S.H. McFadden.
Published by Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, MN:
These two handbooks are quite large with many excellent scholars authoring the various
chapters. It is a good place to read some of the academic insights regarding ministry with
Successful Aging. (1998). Jack Rowe and Robert Kahn. New York: Random House, Inc.
A well-researched but easy to read book on what is means to age successfully. The authors discuss exercise, nutrition, mental functioning, and productivity.
The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain. (2005). By Dr. Gene Cohen. Basic Books. A book that looks at how the mind continues to grow and flourish in the second half of life. It discusses some of the scientific aspects of the brain and gives lots of examples of older adults who are using their minds in creative endeavors. The book is a little bit more academic in nature.
Social Forces and Aging. (1997). By Robert Atchley. Published by Wadsworth Publishing
Company, Belmont, CA.
A good and readable gerontology text.
Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of our Time will Change the Future. (1990). By Ken Dychtwald. Published by Bantam Books, New York.
Aging, the Individual, and Society,( 8th ed.). (2007). By S.M. Hillier and G.M. Barrow. Published by Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, CA
A reader-friendly social gerontology textbook.
Caring For Aging Loved Ones
Caring for Your Aging Parents: When Love is Not Enough. (1989). By Barbara Deane. Published by NavPress, Colorado Springs, CO.
An easy to read book that addresses many of the feelings that surround caring for an aging loved one. The book also gives practical suggestions on how to deal with such things as coping with health problems and putting a parent in a nursing home.
Are Your Parents Driving You Crazy?: How to Resolve the Most Common Dilemmas with
Aging Parents. (2001). By J.A. Ilardo & C. R. Rothman, C. R. Published by VanderWyk &
Burnham, Acton, MA:
An excellent, easy to read book written by two authors that specialize in family dynamics and communication. The book is full of helpful scenarios and tools for solving problems with your aging parents.
The 36-hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer’s
Disease, Related Dementing Illness and Memory Loss in Later Life. (1991). By N. L. Mace. New York: Warner Books.
This is a classic Alzheimer’s book that covers so many of the topics that concern family members of someone with Alzheimer’s.
Another Country. (1999). By Mary Pipher. Published by Penguin Putnam, Inc., New York.
A thought-provoking book that helps you understand the elderly. The author is a psychologist and shares numerous personal stories about adult children and their aging parents.
As Our Years Increase: Loving, Caring, Preparing. (1989) By Tim Stafford. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.
A thoughtful and insightful book about the changes and losses often experienced at the end of life. The author provides a Biblical foundation for aging and encouragement for this final season of life.
Resources for Writing your Memories/Leaving a Legacy
To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come
By Bob Greene, 1993; Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
Turning Memories into Memoirs: A Handbook for Writing Lifestories
By Denis Ledoux, 1993; Soleil Press.
Lifelines: A Guide to Writing Your Personal Recollections
By Evelyn Nichols & Anne Lowenkopf, 1989, Betterway Publications, Inc.
How to Write Your Own Life Story: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Nonprofessional Writer (Third Addition)
By Lois Daniel, 1991; Chicago Review Press, Inc.
Reflections from a Mother’s Heart, Word Publishing.
A Father’s Legacy, Word Publishing.