When asked what his church needs, every pastor I have ever spoken with usually lists a number of important things. Most begin with the word "revival" or more "prayer" or the need to see more souls "saved." Some pastors are brave enough to add comments such as "more dedicated workers," "more Sunday school teachers," "more loyalty to the local church," "more money to finish our building program," or other comments that would certainly help to make the life of the pastor easier.
Pastors, if I could provide you with a way that would ensure more available teachers, as well as people who would be dependable, mature, loyal, and would help the church financially, would you be interested in that program? While many church growth experts have spent their lives studying statistics, demographics, musical preferences, people groups, and other related areas that can be used to help "grow" a church, I would like to suggest a very time-proven method for providing the church with all of the resources it needs. This plan is available for every church, no matter the size of its congregation or its budget.
The church that has developed an effective senior adult ministry will find itself with a great source of committed workers who are willing to share their time, talents, and treasures in helping to build the Kingdom. Let's look at each of those three areas and see how the local church can discover and develop this resource.
First, senior adults, for the most part, have the time to devote to church ministries.
While many younger people are busy working and raising their families, the church may find that seniors have the most free time to get involved. When leadership sees the need for developing new ministries, yet the regular church staff is stretched to the limit with responsibilities, having a wealth of available seniors who can devote their time can make the difference between doing things adequately and doing things excellently.
Second, they often have the ability to share their talents gained from a lifetime of living.
God often brings seniors into the life of a church to share their years of experience and skills. Seniors can be available to help the pastor with hospital or nursing home visitation and to make phone calls to absentees or visitors. Senior adults are good at doing mail-outs and helping to prepare meals at special times, or those with experience may do landscaping around the church. Enlisting seniors to help the church in specific areas may result in getting people to visit the church who want to get involved in a cause that is worthwhile. Tapping into the talents that seniors have to offer can bring great blessing to the church, as well as encouraging and fulfilling those seniors who serve. Too often, we want the professionals to do it when we may have people sitting in our congregation who can very capably do what we need done.
The final area is an important one, many seniors have financial and other treasures that they can share with a church.
I once had an elderly friend who had no family. When she died, she left $350,000 to two humane societies. I have often thought how that money could have been used to further God's kingdom and to help people. Seniors are looking for a place to put their money that will pay "eternal dividends." This area certainly needs to be dealt with carefully and judiciously, but it should be addressed in every church. Most believers want to be in God's will, and they should certainly make plans to see that God is in "their" will.
Yes, senior adults have the time, talents, and treasures to be one of the greatest resources of the local church. A strong senior adult program will ensure a continual source of available and talented people, as well as the finances to see the church go forward.