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older adult ministry; encore; babyboomers

July 20, 201112 years ago

A Powerful Equation


Something incredible is happening across the country.  Never before in history have so many people lived into the later years of life with so much health and vitality.  In fact, by the year 2030, nearly a quarter of our population will be 65+ in age.  This is a huge group of people with the ability to make a powerful impact for Christ.  Just consider what they have to offer: Read more


Why Aren’t More Leaders Excited about Ministry with the Encore Generation?

In the Winter 2010 issue of Leadership Journal, Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, mentioned three things in the church that should be changing by now but aren’t. One of these was ministry to the encore generation. Dave said, “With the huge baby boomer population in this demographic, I’m surprised we’re not seeing growth for this sector.”

His words echo my own thoughts. In talking with many pastors, I have found that most of them do not even have this area of ministry on their radar screen. Health care, the travel and leisure industry and even fashion merchandising is paying attention to the bulging numbers of adults in their 50s, 60s and 70s, but the church seems to be ignoring it. Why is this? Here are just a few of my ideas on the subject.

1.  There is the belief that a growing church is a young church. But, if the fastest growing segment of our entire population is older adults, can’t our church grow as we reach out to 50+ age adults?

2.  The negative stereotypes surrounding aging have found their way into the church. Many church leaders believe the myths that older adults are slow, stuck in their ways and good for nothing but complaining.

3.  Adults over 50 can be ministered to through the women’s and men’s ministry or other ministries for all adults. This might be true to some extent, but we must still recognize the unique issues that affect people in this life stage. Aging parents, the empty-nest, retirement and health needs are all big issues – just like parenting toddlers or preparing for marriage. It is good to gather people of all ages together but there is also a place for speaking to people exactly where they are at.

What are your thoughts as to why the church has been rather slow to wake-up to this important area of ministry?