May 9, 2014

Why Gray-Haired Churches Are Unhealthy

Let me preface this post by saying I love the wisdom, faithfulness, and depth that older Christ-followers bring to a church.  At 47, I have some gray hair myself.

That being said, if your church is primarily made up of people with gray hair, it is not a healthy situation.  Here's why...

1. Healthy families are made up of all generations - grandparents...parents...teenagers...kids...
grandkids.  It's the same with healthy churches.

2. A predominately gray-haired church is not reaching the next generation.  We are called to reach the next generation with the Gospel.

3.  A gray-haired church has more than likely lost touch with the culture.  Most gray-haired churches were once relevant and were reaching young families.  But as the culture changed, they keep doing things the same way they did them to reach young families....in the 70's & 80's.

The result...the young families they reached back then have aged into senior adults, but they have reached very few, if any, young families in today's culture.

4.  Many gray-haired churches are living on past blessings.  If you talk more about what God USED to do in your church than about what He IS doing now, things are unhealthy. 

5.  A church that only has a few, if any, kids is not healthy.  A healthy church will be made up of at least 15-20% kids.  That means if you have 100 people attending your church, at least 15-20 of them should be kids.

6.  Many gray-haired churches have older pastors.  This is not a blanket statement.  There are churches with older pastors who are reaching young families.  But in many cases where the church is not reaching the next generation, the pastor is in his 60's.  Normally a pastor will draw adults who are either 10 years younger or older than he is.  Young pastors reach young families. 

I want to challenge you to take a look at your church.  How much gray-hair do you see?  Hopefully lots.  But hopefully you also see just as many people who are younger.

How do you attract young families to your church?  In Magnetic Family Ministry I share some principals that wlil help you reach young families.  You can check it out at this link.

So what do you think?  Is a gray-haired congregation unhealthy?  If so, what can they do to reach the next generation?  Share your thoughts with us below. 

3 comments:

Totally agree. But I assume that is a hard pill for a gray-haired church to swallow.

condescending and prejudice article.

While valid that churches need to reach out to families and children, the article was pretty heavy handed and sounds like a lack of respect for the older generations--sad reflection of the attitude of the culture permeating the church. I am happy to see our gray haired members at church each week; we have lovely, sweet, loving great- grandmas and great-grandpas which are a big part of our strong volunteer base. They also balance out the foolish, self-centered, fast paced life many of the middle aged and younger congregants live out the rest of the week.

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