Congregational Resources

Senior Adult Ministry ManualSenior Ministry Manual:  A Ministry to and by Senior Adults, created by Ken Holdorf. 2013. Available free of charge. Request a copy by sending your name and address by email to

Best Practices ManualBest Practices for Ministry To and By Senior Adults – this companion to the Senior Ministry Manual was compiled by Rev. Ken Holdorf in 2016. It is filled with tips and real-life experiences that have been shared by adult ministry leaders and congregations around the country. Available free of charge. Request a copy by sending your name and address by email to

Why & How of Older Adult Ministry booklet“The ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Older Adult Ministry,” a rationale for why congregations should invest in ministry for mature adults. It includes an easy-to-follow process for starting or enhancing older adult ministry and a bibliography of resources. 2010. Cost: $2, plus $3 for shipping. Available by contacting our office. Call us at 800-930-2562 or email us at

Forming an Adult Ministry Team – When do you start in creating or restarting adult ministry in your congregation? This “why” and “how” guide has rational, organizational tips and practical suggestions. Read more

9 Tips on Forming an (Older) Adult Ministry Steering Team – Practical suggestions for forming an effective group to lead and maintain adult ministry in your congregation. Download 9 Tips

Dementia 101 for Congregations – Tips and resources on supporting persons with dementia in the congregation. Marty Richards, LICSW.  Read more

Adult Ministry Subject Resources – Authored by ministry leaders, each tells the story of the development of meaningful congregational ministry involving adults age 50 and up, and has been tested in Lutheran congregations or other Lutheran ministry settings. They are provided at no cost to ALOA’s Partner Congregations as they are published.

Called to Follow, by Pastor John Herman at Peace Lutheran Church, Charlottesville, VA, was designed to be used on the journey from Easter to Pentecost, but it is appropriate year round. It is an excellent small group resource in preparation for baptism, confirmation, reception of members, or affirmation of baptism. A User Guide provides a glimpse into the material and suggestions for its use.  Read more

Called to Follow is available in its first edition for $10 (plus $3 shipping/handling). To purchase, send a check to the ALOA office, PO Box 4367, Clearwater, FL 33758. A bound edition and e-book edition are also available from Amazon.

Adult Vacation Bible School, by Judy Baker, former Executive Director of ALOA. This step-by-step, “how to” guide is based on the experiences of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dayton Ohio. It has timelines, job descriptions, suggested planning tools and forms. 23 pages. Available in print form or via pdf for $8.95 (including shipping). To purchase, send a check to the ALOA office, PO Box 4367, Clearwater, FL 33758.

The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts.
Limited Edition, signed by the author.
Luther K. Snow is the inventor and developer of Asset Mapping, the quick and simple action tool for face-to-face group collaboration and transformation. This book outlines his easy-to-use concept and can empower your congregation to grow ministry, people, funds and spirit with the assets you already have. Includes tips, techniques, stories and lessons drawn from the experience of diverse congregations. 128 pages. Cost: $18.00, plus $3 for postage. Purchase from ALOA by sending your check to us at PO Box 4367, Clearwater, FL 33758

Other Resources

Adult Ministries: Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: An Inquiry Approach by Richard Gentzler, Jr., D. Min. Cokesbury. 2004.

Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century by Richard Gentzler, Jr.A structured approach to implementing ministries by, with and for older adults.

Building a Ministry for Homebound and Nursing-Home Residents by Marie White Webb. Designed to equip lay persons to assume this responsibility.

Catch the Age Wave, by Charles & Win Arn. Published by Nazarene Publishing; Beacon Hill Press. 1999.

Implications of  Mass-Aging on Congregations. Church Resources, Inc. offers a Senior Ministry Inventory to helps congregations understand the unique needs and gifts of people over the age of 50. For information, contact CRI at

Designing an Older Adult Ministry BookDesigning an Older Adult Ministry by Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. 1999. Explains “why” older adult ministry and offers tools and planning models.

 Dimensions of Older Adult Ministry: A Handbook, edited by Richard L. Morgan. Commissioned by the Presbyterian Church ( USA ). 14 contributing authors write on timely topics that deal with the “age wave,” and provide excellent questions for discussion.


Forty-Sixty: A Study for Midlife Adults Who Want to Make a Difference, by Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. and Craig Kennet Miller. For use in small groups; helps midlife adults recognize and understand the unique problems of midlife and suggests ways to cope constructively.

The Graying of the Church: A Leader’s Guide for Older Adult Ministry in the United Methodist Church by Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. A companion book for Designing an Older Adult Ministry.

The Graying of the Flock: A New Model for Ministry by James L. Knapp. 2003.

Growing Old in Christ, edited by Stanley Hauerwas, Carole Bailey Stoneking, Keith G. Meador and David Cloutier, William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003.

Health and Wellness by Jill Westberg MacNamara (daughter of Granger Westberg, founder of the parish nurse movement). Practical book to help congregations establish a health cabinet in the local parish. For churches who desire to minister holistically—mind, body and spirit. Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, OH, 2006.

Heartwarmers. Heartwarmers produces 4 series of song-leading videos to meet varying needs and environments. For information call 630-893-5383 or go to

Lutheran Spirituality Series–An Adult Bible study series from Concordia Press. Call 1-800-325-3040 or visit

Midlife Manual for Men, by Stephen Afterburn and John Shore. Book, Leader’s Guide, CD-Rom and group leader kit available. Bethany House. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7642-0545-3.

Ministering to Older Adults, edited by Donald R. Koepke. A practical, insightful book for enriching the lives of older congregants. Good resource for a congregational leader or task force charged with helping older adults mature gracefully and gratefully. The Hawthorn Pastoral Press, Binghampton, NY. 2005.

New Beginnings: The Gifts of Aging. This DVD produced by the Center of Aging & Older Adult Ministries, United Methodist Church, gives short stories of older adults and the role faith plays in their churches and communities. There are vignettes on several ministries particularly suited to older adults.

One Church, Four Generations: Understanding and Reading All Ages in Your Church by Gary L. McIntosh. 2002.

Parish Ministry for Maturing Adults: Principles, Plans & Bold Programs by Richard Johnson, Published by Twenty-Third Publications, New London, CT. 2007. Written from a Roman Catholic perspective, Johnson’s 15th book on senior ministry is an excellent guide for embracing aging as a gift from God.

Our Help in Ages Past: The Black Church’s Ministry Among the Elderly by Bobby Joe Saucer with Jean Alicia Elster. Judson Press. 2005.

Policy and Program Planning for Older Adults by Elaine Therese Jurkowski. Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY. 2008. Insights and a vision for the future in terms of supporting an aging society.

Resources for Celebrating Older Adult Recognition Day (UMC)

“Resources for the Whole People of God.” Series of Reproducible Small Group Discussion Resources from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia’s Theological Education for Laity Project: Aging is NOT a Disease by John Jorgenson and How Shall I Live, Knowing That I Will Die by George Keck Reproducible Studies are available in two formats: notebook or through downloading. Cost: Notebook version: $34.95; Download version: $24.95
Aging in NOT a Disease
How Shall I Live, Knowing That I Will Die

Rock of Ages: A Worship and Songbook for Retirement Living, edited by Richard H. Genzler, Jr., Daniel T. Benedict, Jr. and Dean B. McIntyre. A large print ecumenical songbook and worship guide for use in nursing homes and retirement centers.

Senior Adult Ministry in the 21 st Century: Step-by-Step Strategies for Reaching People Over 50 by David Gallagher. Published by Advent Source. 2002.

10 Gospel Promises for Later Life, by Jane Marie Thibualt. Each chapter addresses a specific fear related to aging—and the Gospel response. Useful for small groups and Sunday School classes.

Understanding the Senior Adult, a Tool for Wholistic Ministry, written by Lois D. Knutson.

White Unto Harvest: Evangelizing Today’s Senior Adults , by Charles Arn. Published by Church Growth, Inc.

Winter of Christian Life: The Generations Consider Difficult Choices. By Judith B. and Richard H. Reuning, LifeCrossings: Resources for Life’s Choices. The Reunings also provide workshops on these topics. Contact LifeCrossings at (614) 451-0519, or