Check out our video and interactive Blueprint to see our step-by-step process for strengthening older adult ministry in your congregation.
Gather some people to work on these 5 steps. It could be a small group of 2 or 3 or a larger group of up to 10. There are NO size requirements – for the planning team, or for the congregation. For more tips, check out our Best Practices resource for adult ministry planning teams.
The steps we propose here is NOT a comprehensive or long range plan. But we believe it will get you off to a strong start, or boost existing efforts in a significant way. Small steady steps forward will take you a long way to stronger engagement of your own members, and to significant opportunities for outreach into the community.
- Explore the WHY. It is tempting to skip this step. Please don’t! Spend time reminding yourself about the importance of the work, in God’s eyes, and in the demographics of the community you are in. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room!
- Affirm Discipleship. A critical second step is to find ways to affirm Discipleship. There is no retirement from Discipleship! God’s call comes early and it comes late. And what a congregation does on Sunday in worship can go a long way to affirming this. Check out two significant resources (Bless the Years, and Milestones Ministry). Show older adults, and the congregation as a whole, that Discipleship at every stage is important. Lift them up, bring them up front in worship, bless them and pray for them. And send them back into their world, and new stage of life with gusto!
- Explore the the 5 Ministry Areas and Resources. The demographic of 65 and older is a large and very diverse group. A ‘healthy’ ministry with and for older adults can look very different from one congregation to the next. However, ALOA has identified 5 Ministry Areas that generally affect everyone and encourages you to give them a look. They provide excellent opportunities for significant ministry among your churches members and also significant opportunities for community connections because everyone experiences the need/challenge. We’ve attached excellent resources to each Ministry area so you can get right to work in a meaningful way.
- Select your first area to tackle. You don’t have to do it all. Starting with one and doing it well will build momentum. Pick an area with the highest need/best chance for success and give it your best shot.
- Repeat. Keep looping back to the WHY! Let that motivate you to additional possibilities.