The New Old YouTube ChannelSubscribe to Amy\'s Blog via RSS FeedVisit Amy on Facebook

volunteering

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

Share
July 20, 20116 years ago

A Powerful Equation

TIME + EXPERIENCE + RESOURCES = SIGNIFICANT KINGDOM IMPACT

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

Share

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

Flexibility: A Must for Engaging Boomers as Volunteers

“It’s not that I don’t want to lead the small group, I just want to be able to be gone from time to time. My wife and I like to travel to our granddaughter’s soccer games and we don’t want to be tied down with a weekly commitment.”

Some type of scenario like the one I’ve described is not uncommon to those of us in churches, ministries or non-profit agencies seeking to recruit the new old as volunteers. When it comes to involving the new old in meaningful ministry opportunities, we cannot ignore their desire for flexibility. In fact, many boomers are retiring from their careers and are entering into new jobs that afford them more flexibility.

So, how do we make this a win-win for our church and for the individual?

1. Encourage co-leaders or co-teachers. For example, you know that both Susan and Mary would do an excellent job leading the church’s food bank ministry. Ask them to share the responsibility. If one of them is going to be out of town, the other one can lead the team meeting. If one of them is babysitting their grandchildren on a particular day, than the other one can train the new food bank volunteers. Same thing works with teaching a small group or Sunday school class. Let two or even three people share the load. You are more apt to have people say yes when they know it doesn’t all fall on their shoulders alone.

2. Involve them in projects that they can do on their own time and while traveling.
Millions of baby boomers that are entering the retirement phase of life have the capacity to lead. Good leaders know how to manage their time and get tasks done. They don’t have to do the work at the church building ‘every Tuesday at 10:00am’. With cell phones, e-mail, skype and other technology, people can accomplish important tasks without being physically present.

Just because boomers desire flexibility they should not be written-off our list of potential volunteers. We would be making a tremendous mistake if we ignored the capacity of this group. They are too valuable and have too much to offer. Sure it may require that we adjust how we do things, but it will be well worth it.

What ideas do you have for involving boomers in ministry while responding to their desire for flexibility? What have you seen work in your ministry context?

Share