Occasionally, I speak in a church that is predominantly senior adults. Each time I do, I think about how a church like that is going to survive – but I also remember why senior adults matter. Remembering these things reminds me to love them even as we make changes to grow the church.
- They know the church’s history. In some cases, they are the church’s history. Their knowledge of the past can be invaluable as we plan for the future.
- They’ve often kept the doors open. Their faithfulness in giving and attending has often been the reason the church still exists. Even if the church is struggling, some of the senior adults have stood in the gap over the years.
- They’ve paid the bills. Many senior adults have given faithfully to the church for years. They give just because it’s their church, and they often give sacrificially.
- They love the Lord. They really do, even if their occasional unwillingness to change might frustrate us. To the best of their ability, they love the Lord.
- They have life experience to offer others. No matter how old we get, we always need the wisdom from others. Senior adults have life experience from which we can learn.
- They need discipling. In many cases, they’ve never been discipled themselves, despite their years of faithful service. Some would actually welcome a brother or sister to walk beside them.
- They’re often facing the difficulties of aging. The church is uniquely situated to minister to people who are facing health issues, retirement questions, and recurring deaths of family and friends. They need others to walk with them.
- They’re connections to the next generations. If we want to reach young adults, students, and children, honoring their grandparents is a good start.
- They are stories of God’s grace and provision. Think about it – how many stories of the senior adults in your church do you know? They’re living testimonies to God’s care if we give them opportunities to tell those stories.
- Sometimes, their wisdom protects us from harm. Sure, they often don’t like change. At the same time, though, their reticence to change sometimes reflects wise thinking.
- They pray. If you want someone to pray for you passionately and regularly, ask a senior adult to be your intercessor.
Thank you, senior adults, for loving the church!