Posts filed under ‘PEP 55+’

13 Things I Love About Senior Adult Ministry

Our seniors model “NOT Giving Up” on life. They stay as involved as they can. That is the model I want to emulate.

Everyone thinks their ministry is the most exciting, worthwhile, and life-changing ministry. I remember that feeling with each ministry I’ve been part of (teaching 2’s and 3’s, writing /editing a church newsletter, leading a women’s Bible study group, mentoring a younger woman, etc). I ENJOYED my time in each area.

And now I have the privilege of enjoying and overseeing our senior adult ministry, PEP 55+ (People Encouraging People 55 years of age and older). And I’m enjoying this one, too.

Read on for 13 things I love about this ministry. This listing is not arranged in any purposeful order.

ONE. Events. Together we get to have fun, learn, and build closer relationships (with each other  and with God) .So far this year we’ve:

  • Been to 6 different restaurants and had 2 potlucks with book/puzzle swaps.
  • Watched 2 in-house movies – all of them are favourites of Pastor Mike: Groundhog Day and Chariots of Fire. We’ll watch Inside Out next week.
  • Gotten to know this year’s missionaries (Gil & Kim Blanco) at our PEP Breakfast with a Missionary.
  • Learned about local history at the Old Sacramento Underground Tour.
  • Enjoyed Live Theatre in Old Town Fair Oaks.
  • Read and discussed themes and impressions at a monthly Book Club.
  • Eaten Breakfast together each week.
  • Attended a monthly Aging Related talk and Luncheon at Cordova Lutheran Church.
  •  Grown in our relationship with God and others through a Senior Bible Study.

TWO. Childhood stories. The world the seniors 55+ have grown up in is no longer here or vastly different. Think technology, customs, expectations, and entertainment. If we ask questions, they will tell us their experience of history. We can learn from this story-telling as a nation and as individuals.

THREE. Frankness and honesty. As we age our verbal filters become less rigid or maybe they just don’t care what other’s think. I enjoy this frankness because then I don’t have to guess what a senior is thinking/feeling. It is easier and quicker to come to an understanding. Plus I see that relationships can flourish better because of this example of open communication. I want to model more of this.

FOUR. Not too late. No matter where one is on the senior age spectrum (from 55-105), it isn’t too late to change, grow, heal. This thought can soothe us with the idea that there is time. We can be patient because we haven’t missed out.

  • It isn’t too late to make amends.
  • It isn’t too late to heal (emotionally).
  • It isn’t too late to start over in a relationship with God.
  • It isn’t too late to learn a new hobby.
  • It isn’t too late to enter into a new ministry.
  • It isn’t too late to add friends to your life.
  • It isn’t too late to leave a legacy or make a difference now.

FIVE. It is possible to be overwhelmed by adversity and still come out okay. Have you listened to the backgrounds our seniors have come from? Talk about adversity. And then talk about what awesome folks they are today. Many told me they wouldn’t be who they are TODAY if it wasn’t for the adversity they went through YESTERDAY.

SIX. Grit.  The dictionary defines grit as “courage and resolve; strength of character.”  That is such an awesome role model of how to respond to life’s overwhelming challenges. I’ve learned that this grit has a twin foundation: a relationship with God and a determination to keep on keeping on. So many of the seniors I know MODEL this trait. I want to keep this as a way I handle life.

SEVEN. Privilege and Joy. It is my honour to be part of a senior’s life. One of the things I get to do with some folks, is to help them finish unfinished business (forgiveness, amends, restore a relationship with God). And I get to be friends with them. I learn so much from their stories and life lessons.

EIGHT. Help. Because of frail health, financial difficulties, relationship issues, devastating disappointments, etc., many seniors are in a vulnerable state. I am honoured to be able to help (or get help) for them during such a time. And there are so many people in our church who are part of this helping ministry.

NINE. Priorities. Because of self-awareness and introspection, many seniors are aware of priorities: relationships. Sometimes I get to help them pursue these. Many more times I get to watch their example and am influenced to pursue these same priorities.

TEN. Choose. No matter how many bad things have occurred in our lives (whether by our hand, by others and/or just because) we don’t have to be defined by our past. We don’t have to be defined by . . .

  • Other’s opinions.
  • Missed chances.
  • Who we were.
  • Our past opinions of ourselves.
  • Our misguided priorities.
  • Circumstances and genetics we couldn’t control.

We can choose what defines us. And I have seen that positive and healthy choosing in many seniors I know.

 ELEVEN. In process. Everyone feels in process even when you are in your 90’s (or so I am told). You never feel all grown up or done. This gives me (and you) permission to have patience in the process.

TWELVE. Listen & Pray. A senior’s life can be a disappointment because life didn’t turn out as expected. I get to be part of a church that listens, prays (with and for), educates, supports and believes in this special age group. Our hope and prayer is that as we listen and pray, the senior can come to terms with the disappointment.

THIRTEEN. Belonging. I have seen many people (and not just seniors) come to CNC with deep emotional wounds and griefs. They feel unconnected. And some don’t believe in their worth and/or that God loves them. Time after time, I have seen healing of relationships and healing in their interior world. I’ve seen them embrace a sense a belonging and embrace love from God. This is exciting to witness. And my own faith in God increases.

My goal is to help them (and myself) to finish life well. I am a better person because of hanging out with seniors. Hopefully they are also a better person because of hanging out with me.

Your Turn . . . I didn’t want to end with #13. Help me out! . . .  What would you add to this list? . . .  Even if you aren’t in a ministry to seniors, I bet you’ve been impacted by one (some). Please share in what way.

Related Posts . . .

This post was influenced by this one: 20 Things I Love About Children’s Ministry. And I wrote it for today because it is #NationalSeniorCitizensDay. So be sure to do something today with your favourite senior citizen.

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