Baptists > Ministries > Senior Saints
Here 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.
   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 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.
   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?
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