Senior citizens ministry

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by PastorGreg, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    We are a small church (110-120 on Sunday morning) with a large percentage of senior saints (35-40 in the church). I'm wondering what kind of ministries others have. Wondering about keeping them involved, or getting them more involved, after retirement; Bible studies; outings; etc. Looking for practical ideas - remember, we are small and I am the staff. [​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg,
    I am 76 and retired from ministry. One of the greatest needs we have as seniors, is to be needed. We feel that our lives are over and we aren't needed anymore.

    I suggest any share in a public service is appreciated; a reading of scripture; reading announcements; taking up the offering. These little things are not taxing, but meaningful.

    In my senior years, I spend time in the senior retirement homes in my area. Every Christmas, I hold a special service for those who are left behind. I can't tell you how thankful these folks are, and I have seen not a few tears of joy.

    God bless you for caring enough to ask about it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Schedule low-key activity/fellowship each month for them. We call them "Keen Agers". They love to eat and sing and play games and take short trips.

    In the church itself, we encourage every senior to be involved in some program. "Listeners" for memory work are desperately needed in Awana. Helpers in all age group activities.

    Jim's suggestions for help IN the services are good for ANY group that is out-of-balance in the church. We had LOTS of young men, so made them ushers and boy, they took that seriously - greeting, giving bulletins, taking offering.
     
  4. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    You may want to give an example of the average senior in your church.

    At my church, the "Young at Heart" have get-togethers every quarter or so (chili dinners, cook outs, Rook tournaments). The age requirements are "50 to dead." Most are early 50's to 70 (almost everyone older than 70 is not able....one of our deacons is an exception, though! :D ). They are known to take some road trips (down to Boaz, AL, to shop. taking in "The World's Longest Yard Sale", etc.).

    Community is the most important thing.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    One church I pastored had many seniors. I found those who wanted to help to be a great source of encouragement to me. It was the seniors who gave me the most help in helping me become a better pastor.

    I had seniors leading a number of ministries. They worked with children, assisted Sunday School teachers in the classroom. I had one lady lead a ministry to serve those who were unable to clean their homes very well or found it difficult to get to church. The seniors are available to take people places. I found they have time and wisdom on their side.

    They can do mission projects. They can help in the church office. I find seniors to be very dependable people.

    I would say there is few things they can't do. Some of them enjoy helping with youth. They cab take a very active role of be just like grandparents. Kids today spend less time with their parents than previous generations. Most of the time both parents work. So just having the seniors available just to listen in guide young people is a very valuable ministry. They can tutor students at the local elementary and high schools. Many school have a program for this.

    I would say don't worry about what they can't do. Just ask them. Give them a reason to say, "No."

    Once I remember a lady who was about 70 whose house was always spotless. I asked her if she could recruit some people to help clean a lady's home who could hardly walk. The lady recruited a few others to clean that home. The lady who had her home cleaned called me and thanked me. I told the group of ladies that. When those ladies were done they thanked me. All of them were past 70 and they were happy to have helped another lady. The impact it had on them was good for all of them. A new ministry was borne at that time. We expanded that to include the youth. From time to time we had the youth do some projects for the elderly.

    I sought to teach the youth to appreciate the elderly for the impact they had in their lives and it was now payback time. The youth grew in no time at all. Some of those elderly people had served in the church for many years and now it was time to help them when they needed help.

    In that same church we had people who would call or go by the homes of the elderly just to check on them. Most of those people have had a spouse who died and are often lonely. They are in a home by themselves. It is nice for them to know they are not forgotten and are really needed.

    It is really because of those who have led me that I do ministry today.

    Seniors can make meals for people. I have had them take care of meals for the families of the deceased at a funeral.

    Sometime ask someone who is a senior what they would like.

    Let seniors help you do ministry. Let them visit and make phone calls. Many of them are retired form jobs that took a particular skill that is needed in the church.

    One man I know is a retired commercial electrician. He does all the electrical work at the church and a local Christian conference grounds. He just can’t do the shovel kind of work he once did. He turned 70 this year.
     
  6. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I teach 4 year olds in Sunday School. We start off with music for our class and now the 3 year olds. My co-teacher is Cora Richardson. Cora is 76 years old, bent over and hands crippled with arthritis! She asked how she could help and I was asked how I'd feel about a woman her age helping me with such an active class. We work very well together. Cora is VERY firm and I am VERY loving. We 'compliment' each other by providing all that the children need.

    On visitation night, our large number of elderly members write post cards and make phone calls while those who are younger (like me at almost 53) make home visits!

    Our Seniors have a choir. They have a weekly luncheon. They make local and long trips. They have clubs.... Our Minister of Music is also our Minister to Seniors.

    Diane
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    We are not dead until some bloke throws that last piece of dirt on our coffin!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

Share This Page

Loading...