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


An Overlooked but Important Ministry

Back in 2006 I led a workshop at a ministry conference on the Top 5 Issues of Aging that the church must address. One of the five was transportation. I know, I know, that sounds nothing like the start of a cool or glamorous or cutting edge ministry. But hear me out, this was an issue 8 years ago and it is becoming an even bigger issue today and will be a huge issue in the future. Mobility is a major concern for older adults, and no longer being able to drive oneself can contribute to loneliness, depression and feeling devalued.

This article is about an organization that is attempting to come alongside older adults and help provide transportation. What can the church learn from this and how could we put together an army of volunteers through our faith communities that could reach out and respond to those in need of a ride? I will be the first to say, the actual transporting cannot be the sole job of the minister. But rather lay-people, serving others in this way would be a beautiful thing. Yes?

What have you done or seen or heard in regards to creative and effective transportation ministries for older adults?


Ignite Your Life Talk Show

It was a privilege to be a part of the Ignite Your Life Talk Show event that was filmed live at Valparaiso University on March 12. This one and a half hour show had 6 guests that talked about aging from a variety of perspectives. They were fascinating people for me to meet and interact with. If you would like to watch the show, click on the Ignite Your Life logo below. My specific part is at about 44 minutes, but the entire program has lots of great information so I hope you will take in the entire thing!


Eighty-Five, a College-Degree and a New Job

One of the ways to break stereotypes about aging and change the view that people hold about the later years is to draw attention to those who are doing amazing and meaningful things with their second-half. 

Jane Gross in Next Avenue’s E-Newsletter recently wrote a great piece about an 85-year old woman who graduated from college this year and landed her dream job accompanying a doctor on house calls to work with the elderly. Read more


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


Serving Our Elders

Nearly every Sunday, (and Christmas morning was no exception) our family worships and serves at a retirement community. My husband, Jon, is the chaplain and he is the pastor to this flock of people and our children and myself are a part of the community of faith. We have two services every Sunday morning – one contemporary and one traditional (Just kidding!). But seriously, we have two services because the 80 to 100 people who attend church each week can’t all fit into the room at the same time! Read more


The Benefits of Caring for an Aging Loved One

Working in the field of gerontology for nearly 20 years, I have had frequent opportunities to study, teach and learn about the subject of caring for aging loved ones. And more often than not my study includes discussions about the tremendous stress that is on caregivers. People caring for an aging spouse or parent juggle many tasks in one day, such as, shopping for groceries, chauferring to doctor’s appointments, picking up medicines, preparing meals, helping with finances, cleaning, helping to bathe and dress, listening and sharing. All the while, this caregiver may have a full-time job, children and grandchildren to care for and other responsibilities. It is a very stressful time and a role that is a reality for millions of baby boomers. Read more


Aging and Fear: A Word of Encouragement

As we look for ways to minister to the body, mind and soul of older adults, I came across a devotion in the book, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young, that I thought was helpful. It speaks to some of the fears and needs of people as they age and it is written as if God is talking directly to the person. Read more


What's in a Name?

It is a reoccurring topic of conversation among many of the churches I visit and leaders I interact with. What do we call our ministry? And how do we identify the people we want to serve?

I’ve written before on how most baby boomers do not like to be called seniors. And in an effort to continue to search for answers to this question of what to call the new-old, I want to share something from a gerontology textbook. Read more


The Blessings That Come With Age

Aging gets a bad rap in our society. We joke a lot about the negative aspects of aging…hearing loss, hair growth, wrinkles, etc., but I believe there actually are some wonderful things about aging. In fact, I’ve had older adults tell me that this season of their life is the best. Scripture also suggests that the later years can be a positive time of life. Read more

Two Ways to Create a New Perspective of Aging

My guess is that a number of you have seen this picture before. If you look at it one way you see a beautiful, young woman…if you look at it in a different way you see the face of an old woman. (Hint: The chin of the young woman is the nose of the old woman).

It’s interesting how our view – our perspective – can have such an effect on how we approach something. For many people, aging has been seen as something negative and something to avoid. It is time we work to create a new perspective.

Here are two suggestions of how you can begin to do this in your church.

1. Draw attention to the contribution of older adults.

This woman is in her late 70s and volunteers her time with the tech ministry at her church. She does not fit the unfortunately common stereotype of an older person complaining about the music or powerpoint slides or lights. Rather, she is giving of her time and abilities to serve people in the local church. In fact, she runs the light program! We need to tell her story and the hundreds of other stories of older men and women just like her. Write about them on your church blog. Share their story from the platform on a Sunday morning. Create a video of older adults serving in various capacities. You get the idea. Start doing something to communicate that older adults are valuable and capable of making a difference.

2. Teach about the lives of older adults in Scripture. One of my favorite examples is of Caleb in Joshua chapter 14. After years and years the Israelites are finally coming into the Promised Land. In verse 6 we come upon Caleb who recalls the promise God had made to him 45 years before to give him the land of Hebron and then in verse 10, Caleb says: “…So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me that day.”

Here is a guy who did not approach aging as something negative, rather he fully embraced this stage of life and all that God had for him. Young people and old people in our churches and communities need to hear these stories, so they know that this can be a reality for them.

What are you doing to help create a new perspective of aging in your ministry context?

Pages:12Next »