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.
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-a longs 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.
Let’s look at some of the basic differences between these two groups and how we can reach them.
- Those born before 1945
- “Mature Adults”
- 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
- Success-Family, Community
- 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
- “Middle Adults”
- Respond well to interaction
- Focus on individual goals
- Individualized ethics
- “I Can`t Get No Satisfaction”
- Served by the institution
- May question authority
- Success -Career, inner fulfillment
- Leadership by influence, ideas,
- Innovation valued
- 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 challenging 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.
Check out our Resources and Ministry Ideas that can assist you in this vital ministry. Hover over the Ministry Ideas Menu above to see the options.