Learn How to Support Older Adults in Your Church

The NBA Mission & Ministry Grant program accepts applications annually in the autumn and awards funds for use in the following year. Mission & Ministry Grant recipients used their 2019-20 funds to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults, youth, and young adults. As the 2019-20 grant period comes to a close, we asked grantees to share a story from the past year of how their communities and organizations benefitted from their award.

“Are you seeing more and more gray heads in worship at your church?”

This is the opening line of our newly-released Older Adult Ministries and YOU video. While we are especially challenged in these changing times, even our virtual worship services may reveal many gray-headed participants. Yet, there are exciting opportunities for expanding and growing faith experiences with older adults. This video is an introduction to ideas for ministry and aging awareness. It offers ways to discover creative solutions for ministries develop programs with and for older adults.

The video names some of the ways that churches can learn and grow together. You can find it and other resources on our Older Adult Ministries website. There are many resources, links, and helpful articles about caregiving; myths and realities; biblical perspectives; and spiritual outlooks on decision-making, loss and resiliency, and more. The helpful study guide, “Age-Friendly Congregations” is available free to churches.

How does faith make a difference in aging? What is so scary about growing old? Dynamic conversation including discussion of stereotypes and realities, opens up the topic in ways that are surprising. The NBA Mission & Ministry Grant we received is bringing biblically-based educational events on aging and ministry with older adults to churches in our area.

Sharing our experiences while finding biblical truths to better understand them is a faith-building process. These resources are to help everyone feel more hopeful and positive about their own aging and that of others. Becoming more aware of ways to personally manage aging leads to a conversation about what congregations might do to better serve members of all ages. This is the basis for future exploration and action with our Older Adult Ministries in Mid-America.

Older Adult Ministries in Mid-America is part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mid-America Region. Their mission is to resource and support congregations as they seek to be more faithful, effective, and sustainable.

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at www.nbacares.org.