Taking On an Awesome Task

This last week, I accepted the position of Pastor of Senior Care, or Pastor of Adult Ministry, given the task of drawing people over age 50 to the church and keeping the ones we have satisfied with what the church offers for them. It is an awesome task, one that will keep me on my knees in prayer, for this week in the literature on starting an older adult ministry in a church, I found that nearly 70 percent of Baby Boomers, people in my age cohort, do not attend religious services, not even at least once a week.

I was shocked! There are so many megachurches today, some with 10,000 to upwards of 30,000 members. I somehow thought that the majority of people in my generation attended church, as many were the children of people who attended a lot and made their children attend. My parents did not attend church, and the only time I saw my parents in church was at my sister’s funeral, but nearly everyone else in my neighborhood had parents who expected them to get up on Sunday morning and go to church, even if they had been out late at night, hangover and all. But, now that I think about it, maybe that is part of the problem.

I remember that the short time between age 9 and 10 when I did attend church with my great-aunt, Aunt Brownie, there were so many rules that you had to remember, such as girls and women did not touch the pulpit, women could not wear earrings in the choir, and you wore your best clothes on that day. At Aunt Brownie’s house, you could not iron or wash clothes on Sunday, and you certainly did not go shopping, for every store was closed. Services lasted for seemingly hours on end, and you attended two services on Sunday, one on Wednesday, and, during Vacation Bible Week, you went every day!

Maybe because I did not go to church much after age 10, I made sure that my children went every week, but I was more relaxed about the ironing and some of the other rules that made no sense to me. I had Bible study once a week at home, and I had a Proverbs for each of my children. For example, the oldest boy’s loved to brag, so his was Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” Needless to say, my children hated the Bible studies and having to go to many activities during the week. I thought that I was setting them u to love going to church, but I was wrong!

My oldest child still will not attend church, and she did not take her children to church. She told me that she was forced to go as a child and to listen to the teachings at home, but when she became an adult, she decided not to do the same to her children. She sees no value in attending church or reading Bibles. She believes that you just treat people well and then you don’t have to be bothered by people who are judgmental and often superficial.

I don’t even talk to her about the church or Bible, because I am afraid I will lose all contact with her. I do tell her that I am praying to God for her, so see knows that God is still there for her. I wonder how many Baby Boomers and younger generations feel the same way she does about the church not having value for their lives?

It is a valid question, for do the churches or religious organizations offer anything of value today that would motivate people to want to attend church? How do we create places of comfort, where people feel that they to find what they need to get through the struggles of this life.? To what degree has the image of Christians been hurt by a push by some Christians for political power?

For me, I attend each week to receive the strength and comfort I need to make it through this life. The music, preaching, and Sunday school lessons reassure me that the God I serve is real and is with me every step of the way. I need to feel the presence of the Lord, and I tend to do so more likely in His holy sanctuary. I do not mean that you cannot do so other places, just that, for me, I love praising God with others and assuring others that God is real and He is there for us.

So, I have until June 17 to complete a tentative plan to the Senior Pastor. I know that what is impossible for human beings to accomplish is possible for God, and I do not forget that it is God who gives the increase. I will pray and continue to call on the powerful name of Jesus Christ my Lord. I would welcome any comments on what works at your church or place or worship, and what your experiences have been. Why do you attend or why don’t you?

12 thoughts on “Taking On an Awesome Task

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  1. What a wonderful initiative and you’re the perfect person to go out seeking the wanderers. I will pray the Lord gives his peace and vision to the task at hand. Follow the Lord’s lead, you can’t go wrong no matter how it looks from the outside or the apparent responses you receive. Seed sowing is honorable and bears good fruit when watered by the Holy Spirit!

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  2. Congratulations on your new job! I have attended church all of my life. There were many times I would have rather been somewhere else. My growing up years was at a church that had many rules that were legalist. I have found that when I leave performance and religious duty behind and instead concentrate on a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, with Jesus and Holy Spirit I do much better. Many people expect the church to entertain them and they do not develop a personal relationship but instead expect the pastor or Sunday School teacher to do the work of cultivating a relationship. I enjoy church and other activities related to it, when I make a personal investment. In other words, bringing something of what I have gotten today or this week to the gathering. Prayer groups who truly intercede for others, outreaches to the hurting and homeless, being foster grandparents to children in single homes, getting out of the church building into the community and giving of oneself to others by showing the love of God to others makes it worthwhile. Too often, for kids and even seniors the emphasis is on what can we get rather than what can we give and being entertained. If the lives of people are being changed in a positive way, they will come. To merely attend and leave unchanged, I would prefer to remain at home.

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    1. Thanks for the great feedback. I agree with you, especially I find it a hard sell to get people to read their Bibles before Sunday School and participate. They seem to think that the preachers and teachers are the only ones who need to know. And yes, it seems that if you are not entertaining people, they will not return. Regina

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  3. I am, for the most part, home bound. My husband serves on a couple of different worship teams in the evenings but my health often requires me to be resting at that time of day. I don’t drive because I have Glaucoma and double vision. However, I DO worship with others through an online service as well as participate in an online church forum daily and small group weekly. I attend the church events via online streaming, sometimes with my other small group members. I realize that Many seniors are not technology savvy, but maybe some donated computers with a few basic lessons, or a tech team to assist them with an online ministry for shut-ins can reach a population otherwise forgotten.
    Additionally, I don’t know about the liability in this but a ride ministry for seniors who can’t drive to church and special events is invaluable to seniors.
    In my church up North, once a month, they held a luncheon for seniors just so they could get out and have some fellowship.
    For those really active seniors, they still want to be Christ’s hands and feet, but at their own pace. Reading to children in the hospital, prayer ministers, etc keeps then active and involved.
    You may already have these ministries in place but I thought I’d mention them anyway. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you minister to his saints on the last path of their journey home.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. There are so many active seniors nowadays, and staying active into their 80’s and even 90’s. It’s easy to overlook a population that is aged with greater difficulty or disabled in some way. I’m 61 yrs. old and I’ve been basically housebound since my mid 50’s. Old is relative. Finding such an active church life with an online campus was nothing short of a miracle for me. With weekly worship, fellowship, bible study, small group and special events, I am very active. I am writing both kids devos and adult devos here on WordPress so I’m serving as well. I’m glad I could be of help in identifying an underserved population. Please let me know if anything else is needed and I would be glad to assist with resources for you. In His Love, Connie Carter

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  4. Congratulations on your new position. Although my parents were believers we did not attend church regularly. I thank God it was my husband who had shown me God’s love for us and the reason we attend church. At times I do not attend Sunday worship but always take the time to worship in my home. We are blessed to have a God whom we can worship at home, in the car and thankfully at church with other believers. You have a task set before you that God has already prepared you for. Maybe it is to show us baby boomers how to find that balance that will enrich our relationship with God – including being yoked into one body in His church. Prayers for guidance and wisdom.

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  5. Congratulations once again on your position ๐Ÿ™‚ What an amazing opportunity God has given you! I will definitely be praying for you sister. And yes, as I have grown in maturity I have begun to love my church home when I learned how blessed I am to have real teaching. I needed it. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to go as well. But I hear what you are saying: It’s unfortunately sad to say, that many may not be mature yet, so they need to be entertained. Or sometimes, people truly don’t receive Christ, they get a cheap imitation or smoke and mirrors, bright lights–without the walk of faith with Him. So therefore, when you teach the truth of God’s Word–they don’t want to hear it–cause they don’t have a desire for Him as He is. Thank you for writing this @isaiah46ministries May He richly bless your heart and your mind as you continue to write, read, grow and teach His Words to others. God reminded me to not be so heart broken over those who don’t receive His Word, but to sow His Word and to just keep moving forward in Him. ๐Ÿ™‚ I pray that encourages us all as we do all God inspires us to do.

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