Senior Ministry

Romans 13:7 "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour"

Many churches focus on programs for youth and children. It is not uncommon for a wonderful group of people to be overlooked, the seniors. When the church takes time to provide a specialized ministry for its seniors, they create a winning situation for both the church and its seniors. It is important to remember when seniors are pushed to the side within the church they are actually failing to honor and utilize the seasoned believers those who have lived 60, 70, 80 + years and have helped form the foundation of the church.
The church needs to tap into the decades of wisdom and experience they have to offer both natural and spiritual. They know and understand that the altar is not just a place for flowers, but the place for people to come and travail before God. They have the experience to know that answers to prayers may not come right away, but these seasoned believers possess the patience to stand still until they see the salvation of the Lord!  Look at their Bibles and you will see worn bibles that have been read over and over down through the years! Senior saints have lived 60, 70, 80 years and more and have decades of wisdom about life, both natural and spiritual.

The world may say that they are old and useless, but God says I love and value them, I need them and I can and will use them.
Having their own ministry within their church inspires senior saints to maintain their talents and spiritual gifts and the quality of what they still have to offer in their church. Many churches do not give their senior saints the honor and respect due them. The Word of God says in (Proverbs 16:31) that the gray hair is a crown of glory to those who love the Lord. In the world seniors are often expected to sit down in their golden years and not be seen, but the Word says in Psalm 92:14 that the faithful can expect to be fruitful, even "flourishing" in their old age so even-though man may think you need to be quiet and not seen, God says be fruitful and flourish.  Psalms 92:12 says "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." The palm tree is known for long life and its ability to stand even in the storm. The Cedars of Lebanon are known to be solid, strong, and immovable. Senior saints are seen or should be seen as upright, strong, and unmoved by the winds of circumstances who know how to trust in God no matter what may happen like a tree planted by the rivers of water.

We live in a society that celebrates its younger generation; mostly everything is geared toward them.  For example technology is geared toward the younger generation. I Pads, cell phones, laptops and computers are seen as a status symbol instead of tools that add quality to everyday living.  Some churches have established two Sunday services, one is called "Traditional" calm, traditional worship songs and old school music and is generally geared toward the older generation, while the second is called "Contemporary" which is geared toward the younger generation, the music is louder, the atmosphere is pumped. This is absolutely fine because of the different worship styles within the parishioners more people are reached.

There are so many benefits to having a senior's ministry within the church. First, it is important to recognize that Senior Ministry addresses the spiritual needs of seniors.  As they advance in years, some begin to doubt or question their faith.Senior Ministry allows seniors who faithfully served God to continually find pleasure in knowing that God knows them and still wants to see His purpose fulfilled in their lives. For those seniors just beginning their Christian walk they are able to connect with their peers. Yet it is very important that the church as a whole appreciate that senior saints have specialty meetings catered to them to meet the many needs they may have.

Within the Senior Ministry, they receive ministry pertaining to their specific needs such as specialized workshop geared toward finances, legal issues, nutritional needs, housing, and medical issues. Hosting health fairs to educate them to how to make godly choices about their health nutritionally as well as through physical fitness, and provides resources to assist them.  Special events planned just for fun and relaxation provides opportunities for fellowship with others as well as changes the beliefs of aging into something positive as it challenges each senior to reach their full potential.

Seniors have so much to bring to the table. They are one of the most valuable assets that we have in the church. Seniors Ministry trains and provides seniors with an opportunity to serve others in a purposeful way. Instead of reflecting on past accomplishments, they are able to make a difference in their church and communities today by reaching out and serving in every auxiliary throughout the church as ushers, hostesses, choir members, children's ministry, outreach,
tutoring youth, lost and found, books store, serving in halfway houses, homeless shelters, kitchen, zest, book store, Audio & sound, and so on.

 Volunteering gives seniors a needed outlet they need to continue feeling needed and useful as they branch out through their own senior small groups which provide the opportunity to establish friendships, fulfilling needs to have meaningful relationships with others.  As they serve throughout the church and their community, they are able to pass on wisdom and knowledge that only comes through age. They also bring various skills to the table that are becoming obsolete today as they share their life's experiences with others that only come with time and age.

Another benefit in having a ministry which is geared just toward seniors and their need's, is that they are then able to reach out and minister to others and win souls for the kingdom in their families, in their community. and through their own senior small groups which provide the opportunity to establish friendships, fulfilling needs to have meaningful relationships with others, and opportunity to share their life experiences.

Seniors ministry is not just about ministry for seniors. It's about sowing into the lives of our senior saints and reaping a wonderful harvest they are able to recognize and appreciate all of the things they can accomplish, as they sow their talents and gifting into the next generation.  Yes there are many benefits in Seniors Ministry but the joy they give is the greatest of all.

This article is written by Minister Linda Fielder