Guiding Principles

Theology

Ministry in Context

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Guiding Principles for Older Adult Ministry

Learn important principles for working with older adults, explore the gifts of aging, reflect on relationship and community, and vision and plan your ministry.

This is a series of video presentations, reflection questions, and resources. Choose how completing the series works best for you. You can undertake it all at once or by sections over time. You also can engage individually or with a team.

In This Section

Principles to Guide Older Adult Ministry

The Gifts of Aging

Relationship, Community, Connections

Envisioning and Planning

Final Reflections and Review

Your Guide

Rev. Joyce MacKichan Walker will serve as your guide in this series.

Learn more about Joyce as a formation leader, teacher, and older adult in her introduction video. Joyce believes “what Older Adult Ministry (OAM) can offer older adults and their congregations epitomizes the community, connection, and relationship older adults need to thrive, to survive, and to serve God and others.”

Length: 6 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Principles to Guide Older Adult Ministry

Length: 10 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Reflection Questions

(Pause and reflect as indicated in the video)

  • Think about Older Adults in your context and write down words and phrases.
  • What are you hearing in the first three principles that you can affirm with examples from your own experience?

Length: 10 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Reflection Questions

(Pause and reflect as indicated in the video)

  • What are you hearing in Principles 4 and 5 that you can affirm with examples from your own experience?
  • What are you hearing in descriptions of settings in Principle 6 that you can affirm with examples from your own experience?
  • Take time to note things the expanded and expanding settings might enrich in your own context. Write down two ideas you could easily implement in the near future.

Length: 8 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Reflection Questions

(Pause and reflect as indicated in the video)

  • What are you hearing in Principles 7 and 8 that you can affirm with examples from your own experience?
  • Take some time to ponder what aspects of their lives – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – seem to be rising to the top for older adults in your context. Choose the one that seems most crucial. Where might you find some conversation partners to bring attention to this area?

The Gifts of Aging

Length: 23 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Reflection Questions

(Pause and reflect as indicated in the video)

  • Taking into consideration your own ministry context, what insights do you have into how you might engage the gifts and skills of older adults in some new ways? Who might be looking for new opportunities to teach/mentor/accompany?  What individuals or groups might need the gifts and skills shared here? How might you begin discovering and offering new opportunities? Who could partner with you in this process?
  • Reflect on “reaching out” as an older adult. What issues are front and center in your community and the world? How might Older Adult ministry help folks passionate about engaging discover places for active participation?
  • Reflect on “reaching in” as an older adult. What practices are already available in your ministry context? What opportunities might Older Adult ministry create to invite “grounding,” meaningful reflection, awareness of complicity, and “supple hearts.”

Relationship, Community, Connection

Length: 10 mins    |    Transcript  (PDF)

Resources

These resources are referenced during this video and will be helpful for the pause.

Length: 8 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Resource

Final Reflections and Review of Exploration

Length: 5 mins    |    Transcript (PDF)

Reflection Questions

Take a few minutes and reflect on the next steps for ministry.

  • Name something immediately useful that caught your eye, and why it did.
  • As you look ahead in your own personal life, what encourages you about elderhood?
  • As you look ahead in your own ministry context, what do you want to claim more intentionally for elderhood?
  • Name one thing you want to plan for in the coming three months.
  • Name one program or idea you want to ponder for the future of your ministry.
  • If you had to name a long-term goal you have for older adult ministry, what would it be?
  • With what gift or two has the Holy Spirit prepared you for ministry? How does that both encourage and help you?

Resource

Close this session by listening to “As the Wind Song in the Tree” sung by the Beyond the Walls Choir.