Guiding Principles

Theology

A Variety of Contexts

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Ministry in a Variety of Contexts

Ministry with older adults looks different depending on the context, size of church, number of older adults, community setting, and more. Colleagues from across the PCUSA and country have shared some examples of what ministry with older adults can look like and tips for you through videos and downloadable Quicksheets (fast and fabulous ideas for ministry).

Length: 10 mins

In This Section

Millennial Leaders and Older Adult Ministry

Discovering or Refocusing your Mission and Ministry

The Third Thirty

A Ministry of Presence with Older Adult Widowers

QuickSheets

Millennial Leaders and Older Adult Ministry

Listen as a group of pastors and formation leaders share their experiences of being in ministry with Older Adults.

Length: 10 mins

In This Video

  • Grandparent Power
  • Slow Fellowship
  • Digital Church Is Not Just for the Young!
  • Volunteering Across Four Generations
  • Engaged, Self-empowered, Self-possessed
  • Work ‘With’ Not ‘for’ Them

Reflection Question

  • Think about experiences from your ministry context with Older Adults. How would you share these with others?

Length: 8 mins

In This Video

  • Empathy Over Availability
  • Church Is a Team Sport
  • Navigating Limitations
  • Pastoral Boundaries

Reflection Questions

  • Do any of these resonate?  Which one and why?

  • What joys and challenges do you find in ministry with Older Adults?

Length: 5 mins

In This Video

  • Communicate Ahead to Avoid Apologizing After
  • Connect through Experience
  • Humor and Honesty
  • Be Genuine

Reflection Questions

  • What are some key things you keep in mind when in ministry with Older Adults?

  • What did you learn from this series of videos that will be helpful in your ministry context?

Discovering or Refocusing your Mission and Ministry 

Learn about an innovation process through the eyes of a Presbyterian church in Wisconsin and their thriving ministry. Then become familiar with questions you can ask for discovering mission and ministry with Older Adults in your context and how to innovate by taking small steps. Rev. Will Houts serves as your guide.

Length: 5 mins

Length: 5 mins

Resource and Opportunity Questions

  • What are the interests of the older adults in our congregation?
  • What are the skills and abilities of the older adults in our congregation and the congregation in general?
  • What are the needs of the older adults in our congregation and community?
  • What services are already available in our community for older adults?
  • What are the limitations of the older adults in our congregation and community?

Exploration and Engagement Questions

  • How can older adults in our congregation use their interests, skills, and abilities in service of the broader community?
  • How can we partner with resources already available in our broader community?
  • How can we advocate for the needs of older adults in our broader community?
  • How is the Spirit calling us to engage older adults in our congregation and the community in ministry that shows the love of Jesus Christ?

The Third Thirty

The Third Thirty is a series of discussion session plans on various topics that explore the challenges of aging in the third part of our lives (nominally ages 60-90). It entices us to consider how aging wisely, smartly, sensibly, gracefully and spiritually might look for Older Adults. Chris Pomfret, a POAMN leader, is your guide.

Length: 8 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Resources

A Ministry of Presence with Older Adult Widowers

Legacy Village Senior Living Community in Xenia, Ohio, is home to a group of widowers who were primary care partners with their spouses. The Rev. Dr. Charles Tinsley provided a space through a ministry of presence for these men and shares their stories in this video. In addition, you will find an article telling more from Rev. Tinsley’s perspective. Finally there are questions for you to reflect on the ministry of presence in your context.

Length: 12 mins

Resources

Reflection Questions

  • How as a pastor, faith formation leader, or congregational leader are you present with Older Adults? What might be some additional ways you or your congregation could be present with them?
  • How could you listen to the wisdom of Seniors?
  • What kinds of intergenerational activities can the congregation initiate that could be beneficial to several generations? 
  • How could your congregation provide opportunities for widowers to speak and be heard or support each other around the loss of relationships?
  • What might be one way you could help build community with widowers?
  • How could the Older Adults who have experienced loss support others who may find themselves with similar experiences?

Guiding Principles

Theology

A Variety of Contexts

Explore More