8 Excellent Reasons Why the Church Needs Senior Christians

8 Excellent Reasons Why the Church Needs Senior Christians

Every church needs people of different generations and perspectives on life to grow in the faith.

My grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life, not only as a physical presence but also a spiritual one. Frankly, I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today without her presence in my life.

Here are eight reasons why senior Christians are a great asset to any church:

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  • 1. Their Wisdom

    1. Their Wisdom

    Proverbs 16:21 says, “The wise man is known by his common sense, and a pleasant teacher is the best.” Their perspective on life is so much different than mine simply because they experienced similar life circumstances and survived. Due to the simplistic nature of the time in history and the nonexistence of technology, seniors had to live off the land and figure out for themselves how to provide for their families. This gave them knowledge that we don’t have because we have machines to help us do things.

    Because of this unique knowledge base, it is wise for any church to go above and beyond to include seniors into their church services and ministries. Even better, have a volunteer meet with them and hear what they have to say about what is working (or not working) in your church. More than likely, they will be a pleasant teacher in that they will enjoy your company but they may shed some light on an issue in a way you never saw before.

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  • 2. Their Stories

    2. Their Stories

    Seniors have important stories about church history that people like me simply don’t have. The church that they grew up in is different than the church we see today. As cultures change churches change, seniors have a view of a different time in our church history. Sit down and glean their wisdom. Simply by sharing stories from their childhood and season of being a parent, they (and you) may be surprised by the life lessons they learned as a result.

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  • 3. Their Love

    3. Their Love

    Have you experienced the beauty of having a senior love you in a special way? Whether it is a donation of homemade bread or a card of encouragement, some of the biggest blessings (other than from my grandmother) have come from the love of Christian seniors.

    In one of our churches, a wonderful senior and matriarch of the church would lavish homemade sticky buns on Easter and gifts on my children’s birthdays. My daughter also visited her in the summertime, playing games, watching TV, or simply chatting with her. In a way, she got to create some of the same memories I had as a child growing up next door to my grandmother. Since we lived far away from our families, my children missed out on a chance to be close to their biological grandparents. The elderly woman served as their adopted grandmother, and they were better for the experience. Their love is more special because it comes from deep within their hearts. Most seniors not only have raised their children and are now enjoying their grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren.

    Seniors love to “adopt” church members as their grandchildren and love on them. Let them adopt you and lavish their love on you. It will benefit you both. 

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  • 4. Their Ability to Set Boundaries

    4. Their Ability to Set Boundaries

    Seniors come from a time when church was a weekly priority, Sunday drives were the norm, and Blue (or Sunday) laws were in place. In other words, Sunday was dedicated to God and family. But times have changed. With access to stores on Sundays and sports games often happening on Sundays, it is easy to skip church, making it a monthly, rather than a weekly activity, positioned in the back of our minds rather than at the forefront.

    Adapt the senior’s way of thinking about church. Strive to keep Sundays free and rededicate it to dinner together after church. In so doing, your desire for fellowship and connection may be fulfilled by making a few small tweaks to your schedule.

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  • 5. Their Dedication

    5. Their Dedication

    Because of the culture’s emphasis on putting church and family first on Sundays, they learned to dedicate themselves to the church from an early age. As they carry this attitude into their mature years, it serves as a good model for young people. Seniors that want the church to succeed will want the congregation to succeed too.

    Their dedication to seeing the church they have served for so long thrive is a great example for younger people. 

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  • 6. Their Leadership

    6. Their Leadership

    Seniors are sometimes the best leaders a church has. That’s because they know the congregation well due to their longtime membership. Seniors can help leaders place people in the right ministries, if they have made it a point to get to know the congregation. They also have the best intentions for the church and sincerely want to see it succeed. Placing a senior in charge may help a small group run smoothly. They’ll be an advocate for the church’s vision and mission, as long as they have a good relationship with pastoral staff.

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  • 7. Their Sacrifices

    7. Their Sacrifices

    Baby Boomers and older generations lived in a time when war was imminent and economic depressions were the way of life. This generation had to learn how to make good use of what they had. Wasting precious resources was not an option. Seniors sometimes have good tips and strategies to make the most with the resources that churches have to spend.

    Ask them what they would do to make the most of the budget and pinch pennies where necessary. The church’s finances (and congregants) may thank you in the long run.

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  • 8. Their Mentorship

    8. Their Mentorship

    Titus 2:3 is a great model for mentorship: “Teach the older women to be quiet and respectful in everything they do. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers, but they should be teachers of goodness. These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them.”

    Yet, I rarely see it done well as a church ministry, whether publicly advertised or privately practiced. Women need guidance more than ever before. Shuffling between work priorities, church commitments, and family’s extracurricular activities, it’s hard to live out the Christian faith deeply and effectively.

    Wouldn’t it be great to enlist the help of the senior women who possess the knowledge on how to teach as well as the wisdom to carry it out? This gives seniors opportunities to use their gifts and to speak into young people’s lives in helpful ways.

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  • "Investment in a person’s life is never a waste."

    "Investment in a person’s life is never a waste."

    Investment in a person’s life is never a waste. Seniors often have the extra time to pour into a young person’s life without putting that burden on a pastor or other ministry leader.

    Seniors often feel pushed out of their churches, feeling like they have lost their voice within their congregation. Yet often they hold the key to a church’s vitality and growth. Having earned the congregation’s respect both for their age and their sacrificial service through the years, seniors can be the catalyst that propels a church from surviving to thriving.

    Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell Award, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She is also an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.

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