Honoring Our Elders

honoring-our-eldersProverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living the right path.” I got my hair cut last week. When I looked down onto the black floor of the barber shop it dawned on me that Proverbs 16:31 speaks to me – at least the gray hair part. On the upside I’m less than two years away from the Perkin’s discount, so I’ve got that going for me.

By the year 2020 the number of American citizens 65 and over will be greater than all other age groups combined. It’s being referred to as “The Silver Tsunami”.  The implications of this demographic shift are profound for every segment of society, including the Church.

A friend at Prince of Peace was expressing her concern that there aren’t more young adults in our congregation. It’s a concern I share, and one I’ve heard often here at Prince of Peace and almost every other congregation I’ve encountered. My friend went on to tell me about the church that her son attends in another state, what a wonderful faith community it is and how it’s made up almost entirely by young families.

I thought to myself, “I wonder if that congregation expresses concern about not reaching more seniors in the same way that congregations like ours express concern over not reaching more young adults.” In reality, I’ve rarely heard a church express that concern, unless the conversation revolves around simply wanting their financial resources. What does that say about the value that the church often places on people my age and older?

God loves and values people of all ages. Our past reflects that. Not only do we have a proud history of great family ministry, we were also one of the first churches in America to call a gerontologist onto staff. Our vision for the future reflects that care and concern for people of all ages too, including those who are rich in years and in wisdom.

The Builders and the Boomers have shaped our world, and by God’s call and God’s grace we aren’t done yet!

Where do you see yourself in God’s vision for Prince of Peace or your own congregation?

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  • gloria swanson

    Thank you for mentioning me “the gerontologist” on your blog. It was a privilege to serve in ministry at Pop. Now I am consulting with lots of other churches about investing in their older adults. The model that my team and I developed is being passed on. POP has been a pioneer in many areas of ministry, including ministering to our community’s elders