Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reaching the Retired: Seniors 1

This weekend we've been thinking about Seniors' Ministry in the parish. A busy time, but also a good time. As well as the theory of planning strategy and thinking through the issues, we had an outreach Afternoon Tea event.

The elderly are an important constituency for us to reach - one statistic quoted yesterday said that there were more people over 80 in the UK than under 18. Remarkable! Most churches plan for youth ministry and aim their resources towards the younger people, yet we cannot neglect the older members of the community.

Our older Christians can testify to God's grace and faithfulness over long periods of time. For example, last Sunday during the children's talk, I asked if anyone had been a Christian for more than ten, twenty, thirty, forty years - and we probably could have gone for fifty or even sixty years of walking with the Lord! What a witness and encouragement for the newer Christians to see how God has brought people through previous recessions, wars, and redundancy and unemployment in their lifetime.

When we think of non-Christian older people, there is perhaps a greater sense of urgency with them moving closer to meeting their Maker. But whether Christian or non-Christian, our aim in ministry to seniors, indeed, in all ministry, is to present 'everyone mature in Christ' (Colossians 1:28).

Through the week we'll think about our attitude to older people, and God's attitude towards them, before seeing the possibilities of outreach to seniors.

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