bridging generationsOlder Adult Ministries

  1. Aging is a lifelong, natural process that begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is to be embraced and celebrated because it represents growth, development, and maturity. Each stage of life (adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and older age) is being extended due to greater longevity and other societal changes.
     
  2. Older adults experience most of the same needs as people of any age for food, shelter, clothing, health, security, financial stability, love, affirmation, engagement in meaningful activity, emotional well-being, and spiritual growth. But these needs and the resources for meeting them may have unique expression among older adults. It is therefore both appropriate and necessary for the church to give particular attention to the needs and resources of older people.
     
  3. The tremendous number of older adults, their life experiences, developed skill and knowledge, their wisdom, maturity, and increased amount of non-work time and energies are among the resources that make older adults a rich source of ministry to the church and community. Pastoral ministry is both given and received through the gifts of older adults.
     
  4. Acknowledging and effectively addressing stereotypes concerning ageism, sexism, and relevant variables are essential to effective ministry to and by people of various ages and cultures.
     
  5. The church has a major role in assisting and supporting the older adults in a most important developmental task of continuing spiritual investigation, experience, and growth.

World Conference Report 1996