Those born after World War II are also now reaching retirement age. However, they are called the Baby Boom generation and are the largest generation numbering some 75 million. They grew up during a general time of prosperity and opportunity and have different ideas than the Builder generation. The church needs to develop a ministry of reaching both groups of 50 Plus! Baby Boomers will not be won with Pot Lucks and Sing Alongs that the Builder generation enjoy so much. They are a different generation and different methods will have to be used to attract them to today's church. Boomers are into staying young, learning new things, travel, starting businesses and want to make a difference with their lives.
BUILDERS AND BOOMERS-How Can We Reach Them?
WHO IS A SENIOR ADULT?? NOT ME!
So who is a Senior Adult? At what age does one become a "Senior?" Medicare says 65. Social Security can start at 62. AARP says you are a senior at 50.
The Assemblies of God starts their Senior Adult Ministries at age 50. However, some churches divide their senior adult groups into Middle Adults age 50-65 and Mature Adults age 65+.
There is certainly a great deal of difference between a 54 year old person who still works, has children in college, as well as taking care of an older parent, and someone who is an 80 year old retiree! How should the church approach ministry toward these two different groups of Seniors?
Those "older" adults who went through World War II are often referred to as the "Builders." They helped to build a great America economically, morally and spiritually. They sacrificed a great deal to see progress and prosperity.
Let's look at some of the basic differences between these two groups and how we can reach them.
Those born before 1945
Respond well to teaching
Sacrifice of self for others
Focus on group goals
Common values, ethics, (honesty, morality)
"We, Us, Pull together" (they won WWII)
Loyal to the institution
Leadership by command, follow directions
Resistant to change
Common religious heritage
Concerned about people
Financially-Save, Save, Save
Spiritually-"What can I do for God?"
Church-"How Can I help the church?"
Those born between 1946-64
Respond well to interaction
Focus on individual goals
"I Can`t Get No Satisfaction"
Served by the instituion
May question authority
Success -Career,inner fulfillment
Leadership by influence, ideas,
Minimal religious heritage
Concerned about causes
Financially-Spend, Spend, Spend"
Spiritually-"What can God do for me?"
Church-"How can the church help me?"
As you see there are major differences in the two groups. Different values, traditions, music styles, and other distinctions make reaching these groups a challengeing task.
Understanding how each group learns and their interests can help you be more effective in developing a strategy and programs to reach them for the Lord.
Most of all pray that God will give you insight and a love for all adults.