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Older Adult Ministry

Baby Boomers and Beyond: Interview at the NACC

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How to Get New People to Check Out Your 50+ Ministry

I was cleaning out some files the other day and came across one file all about an event that I led for older adults when I was the 50+ ministry director at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. The event was called the “Remember When Reception” and it reminded me of an important idea that might help those of us who lead older adult ministries. Here is the question for us to consider:

How might we use the momentum of an all-church big event or service to help propel our ministries with older adults forward? Read more

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Binge Drinking and Adults 65+

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently put out a report on binge drinking. Noted in the report is that the age group that binge drinks the most often is the 65+ age group.

This should cause us to stop and consider a couple of things: Read more

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An Update and Some Ministry Encouragement

My sincere apologies for falling off the blog wagon for well over a month. It is still my intention to share weekly articles with you that will help you in your ministry with older adults, baby boomers and the aging experience! (By the way, this is blog post # 50!! – Thanks for reading!)

It has been a busy fall with lots of wonderful ministry opportunities. I’ve crisscrossed the country a couple of times speaking with pastors and church leaders as well as older adults themselves and I’m encouraged that the conversation about older adult ministry and finishing well seems to be growing. But there is still much work to be done!

Let me share just a few encouraging highlights from my travels over the past 2 months: Read more

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Moving Older Adults Off the Sidelines and Back into the Game

Wes and Judy Wick lead a dynamic ministry called, YES! (Young Enough to Serve). I have known both of them for several years and we share a similar passion for ministry with older adults. This video that their son produced is outstanding! It’s just 3 minutes long and communicates in a very compelling way why we must engage older adults in the life of the church. So watch, be inspired and then go do something! Read more

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Wanted: Retirement Coaches

Several weeks ago I read an article about retirement coaches. These are individuals who have made it their business to help people navigate how to spend their retirement years. Unlike retirement planning that focuses on managing money, these coaches help adults manage their “post-career” life. Wouldn’t it be great if the church began to take on the ministry of equipping people to live out a purposeful retirement? One way to do this is to look at the members of your congregation and consider who is currently retired that would be good mentors for those approaching retirement. Read more

May 25, 20116 years ago

This is Your Time!

For my entire adult life (almost 20 years now), I have had a passion to see older adults live their lives with Christ-centered meaning and purpose. Unfortunately, our society sometimes communicates to us that the later years are for slowing down and taking it easy. Perhaps you’ve been told that you are past your prime. But God’s Word tells us something much different. Read more

Honoring Older Adults

From owning the latest piece of technology to reading the most recently released novel, American culture promotes a message that new is to be valued. Add to this the fast-paced life that many Americans live and what results is a society that does not have much time or desire to listen to the wisdom and experiences of its elders. That’s one reason why it is so important for churches to find ways to honor older adults and encourage them to tell their stories. Read more

Are You Ever Too Old?

What keeps people from serving? The apostle Paul knew of one thing that could keep Timothy from serving God to the fullest extent and that one thing was ageism. Ageism is the term used to describe the negative biases we have about certain age groups and this is exactly what Paul was addressing in I Timothy 4:12 when he says to Timothy, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Ageism happens when someone is told they are ‘too young’ to do something and it also happens when someone is told they are ‘too old’. Read more

How NOT to get the new old to participate in your older adult ministry

Sometimes I will hear from senior adult ministry leaders who want to know how to get the 55 or 60 year old to join their senior adult activities. Let me provide you with one example of how NOT to get them to participate. This was in a recent Sunday morning church bulletin listed on the page devoted to senior adult ministries:

At What Age Are You Considered a Senior Adult at “Your Church”?

1. If you are age 50 or over – you may consider yourself a senior.
2. If you have been contacted by AARP – you can consider yourself a senior.
3. If you are retired or semi-retired – then you are a senior.
4. If you take the senior discount – then you are a senior.
5. If you live in a senior adult retirement community – then you are a senior.
6. If you have grandkids – then you are a senior.
7. If you are receiving Social Security or other retirement benefits – then you are a senior.
8. If you have a membership at the senior center – then you are a senior.
9. If you are a snowbird – you are probably a senior.
10. If you have grey hair, white hair, partial hair or no hair – you are probably a senior.
11. If you have artificial joints or parts – you are probably a senior.
12. If you wear bi-focals or tri-focals – you are probably a senior.
13. If you have a handicapped parking permit – then you are probably a senior.
14. If you are downsizing – you are probably a senior.
15. If you see one of our activities and wish you could participate, come ahead – you are probably a senior anyway! C’mon and admit it!

I wish there was some gentle way I could tell this senior adult ministries pastor that this creative method for getting more people involved is not going to work. Like it or not we are never going to be able to convince the new old that they are seniors and therefore should join the current senior adult ministry. They just do not identify with that group and listing 15 reasons why they should come to the group, is not going to motivate them. Rather than spending all of our energy trying to find a way to get these boomers to be a part of the current senior ministry, why not start something new and fresh to reach this unique group?

What is one thing you have done to reach the new old?

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