comes the Baby Boom generation!
Are the Baptists truly prepared to minister to this still youthful and
very active group of not-so-retired church members?
| The church is getting older.
The "Baby Boom Generaton"
is turning sixty. So far, only the vanguard has entered into the
realm of soon-to-be retirees. Furthermore, this new generaton of
seniors is much more active, healthy, and still very much engaged in the
"stuff of life."
As the population of baby
boomers swells to all time highs, churches will be challenged to both continue
and improve their ministries for seniors. In the meantime, the Baptists
have long understood the importance of providing opportunities for service
and fellowship to their senior saints. Whether it's a Sunday morning
Bible study class or an organized event, most of their churches have always
recognized the tremendous value these maturer Christians are to the congregation
as a whole.
The challenge for our churches
will be to continually review this ministry while determining how best
to facilitate a growing population of seniors. Doing so will enable
to church to know best how to place aging members in places where they
can best serve as well as provide the kind of fellowship that will be conducive
to their needs.
| However, due
to the changing general make up of those soon to enter this stage of life,
the approach to this ministry will need to change as well. Whereas,
Bible studies, pot-luck luncheons, and day trips have been the general
format, this new breed of retirees will be much more active. They
may slow down some but they will be much more able and willing to be totally
engaged in the ministries of the their churches.
The Baby Boomers will be
much more willing and able to stay involved in ministry themselves.
Whereas previous generations were ready to retire from teaching, singing
in the choir, and filling necessary positions in the church by the time
they reached their mid-fifties, these seniors will still be active well
into their eighties. This should be considered a great blessing to
God's people in that the combined wisdom and experience of these still
active older members of the congregation will go a long way in improving
the effectiveness of the church.
Furthermore, the structure
of fellowship provided by the church will need to be reevaluated on a regular
basis. Not so inclined to be content with luncheon fellowships or
day trips, this more active group will be both looking for and making opportunities
for a much more active involvement. This will provide the church
with more active workers who still have a vision for church growth and
development well into their senior years. No longer hampered by doing
things the way they have always been done before, this generation of seniors
is primed for change and more in tune with God's leading to do those things
that inspire effective evangelistic outreach. Not only will they
be looking forward to meeting with others their own age for good Christian
fellowship, but they are more in touch with younger generations who will
be inspired by their many years of serving the Lord.
This writer is currently
fifty-eight years of age. I teach an adult Bible class, sing in the
church choir, am a published writer, have several hobbies, and manage a
team of employees for a large bank; not to mention the maintenance and
improvement of this web site. In truth, I am just as engaged in the
"stuff of life" as ever with little sign of slowing down. Of course,
I do give God the glory but also understand that there was a time when
someone my age would not have been so active. Not only that, but
the majority of my peers are just as active. Furthermore, there are
more of us than ever before.
It's time for our churches
to get ready for a shift that will mean as many senior saints as there
will be young people. A tidal wave of seniors is on its way.
Will God's church be ready?