Why You Need Senior Adults in Your Church

If you know me, you know I am all about reaching the next generation.  I go to churches and share with them the extreme importance of turning around and investing in the generation to come. 

I was at a church in Phoenix this past weekend and reminded them that they must reach the next generation if they want to see their church thrive and grow.

But I also shared with them that a healthy family is made up of all generations. Great grandparents, grandparents, parents, teenagers, elementary children, preschoolers and babies.  A healthy church will mirror this and have all generations represented.

Don't get so focused on reaching the next generation that you forget to reach and disciple senior adults as well. 

Here's why you need senior adults in your church. 

Senior adults can be great prayer warriors.  Some of the greatest prayer warriors I have met are senior adults.  My father and mother pray daily for my family and I.  Their prayers make a difference in our lives.  

Do you have a prayer ministry at your church?  If not, it's time to start one. Senior adults will lead the prayer charge if you invite them to do so.  Grandma's prayers are something you need in your family and ministry.

Senior adults make great volunteers.  Some of the best volunteers I have ever served with have been senior adults.  Many of them have been faithfully serving Jesus for decades.  Challenge the senior adults in your ministry to start serving. There is no retirement from serving Jesus.  Senior adults who are retired often have more free time to serve.  

One of the most amazing volunteers I have ever served with is a man named Will.  He came to Christ in his senior adult years and was immediately on fire for Jesus.  He served many hours during the week and on weekends.  I often kidded him and told him he was putting in more hours than our "paid" staff members. 

Senior adults can be effective mentors. Senior adults have a great opportunity to turn and mentor the generations that are behind them.  Boys who need a father figure in their life.  Mothers who need advice on raising their children.  Couples who need help for their marriage.  

What would happen if you started a mentoring ministry and you were intentional about enlisting senior adults to serve as mentors?  What an impact that could have! 

Senior adults bring wisdom to the table.  They have been down the road farther than those coming behind them.   They can offer great insight and instruction if you will ask them.

When you combine the wisdom of senior adults with the zeal of youth, great things happen.

Senior adults can impact the next generation. Cast vision to your senior adults for this. Help them see the huge impact they can have if they will invest in the generations coming behind them.

Senior adults bring balance to a church.  As I stated at the beginning of this article, a healthy church is made up of all generations.  The unhealthy extremes are only having young people in your church or only having senior adults in your church.  

Here is a bonus tip if want to measure the generational health of your church.  In a balanced church, children (birth through 5th grade) will make up 15-20% of the congregation. Here's an example. If you have 100 people attending your church, then a minimum of 15 to 20 of them should be children.  In a really healthy church, it can trend as high as 30% being children.

Senior adults can help finance the mission of the church.  Giving in many churches depends heavily on the tithes and offerings of senior adults.  The Boomer and older generations were raised to be faithful in their giving. Share with them the importance of investing financially in the next generation.

Often senior adults have the financial means to help move the church forward. I have seen this happen firsthand. At one church where I served, we were able to purchase a new church building because a widow lady left $6,000,000 for the ministry in her will.  

Some senior adults live on a fixed income.  Although they may not be able to give $6,000,000 they can be faithful with their tithes and offerings and God can use it to help build the ministry and reach people for Christ.

Senior adults can bring God's blessings to a church. I believe God will bless the church that not only focuses on the younger generations, but senior adults as well.  Throughout Scripture, we read that we should honor and respect the older generation. God will bless the church that does so.

Although most people think I look a lot younger than I really am, that is beginning to change.  A few weeks ago, I was checking out at a store. The cashier looked at me and asked if I would like the senior discount?  What????? Do I look like a senior adult????  This is the first time I have been asked this question.  She explained that people 55 and older got a 20% discount.  Of course, I then let her know I was 55.  It reminded me that my senior adult years are not too far ahead of me. 

As I continue to journey toward my later years, I want to serve Jesus with all of my heart. May we all serve Him until our last breathe takes us to be with Him.