40+ And The Church/Pastoring Those In Second Adulthood

Last May, after hearing from more than 400 people over the age of 40 about the nature of their relationship with a local church, I made these observations: Church leaders must do some serious thinking about their models for spiritual health, growth and church “success”. Yes, I know there are hundreds of people speaking and writing about how and why to do this, all promoting their specific fix for the problems of our churches (Be missional! Be multi-site! Formal liturgy/modern worship/yada yada y … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church/What Pastors & Leaders Have To Say (Part 4)

Though Barna's 2011 survey and my own less-scientific one last spring showed that those over 40 were leaving or greatly decreasing their involvement in their local churches in large numbers, I wondered what pastors of all ages observed about church involvement, attitudes and spiritual needs of the congregants in their second adulthoods, so I asked them. (Click here to see earlier posts about the results of this survey.)  Today, I'll be sharing what some of these pastors had to say in response to … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church: What Pastors & Leaders Have To Say (Part 3)

They're more willing to serve. They're less willing to serve.The pastors and leaders who responded to my survey querying pastors and leaders about the joys and challenges of ministering to congregants over age 40 reported both as the case in their churches.Those who reported that older members were more willing to serve were talking about this group - the 53% of age 40+ congregants who responded to a survey I did last summer telling me they were more or equally involved in their local … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church: What Pastors & Leaders Have To Say (Part 2)

The first post in this series offers a look at the demographics of those who responded to my survey of pastors and church leaders in search of their insight about how they're ministering to and with congregants over age 40. (Click here to read it.)I'm sure the call to pass on our faith from one generation to the next predates the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), but the words given to Israel before they crossed into the promised land after 40 years in the desert crystallized how to best do this - … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church: What Pastors & Leaders Have To Say (Part 1)

Two weeks ago, I invited pastors and leaders to weigh in on the topic of older adults in their congregations. (Click here if you'd like to take this brief survey. I'll be keeping the survey active for at least 2 more weeks.)I've heard from nearly 60 leaders to date. While I received a fair amount of feedback from pastors and other congregational leaders in the survey I did last summer querying those over 40 to share about their relationship with the local church, my questions focused on … [Read more...]

Is this my seat at the kiddie table?

Just in time for this winter's epic Polar Vortex to swoop into town this winter with its alternating gifts of snow and subzero weather, my husband and I decided it was time to figure out if it still made sense to make the hour and twenty minute round trip drive to attend our church on Sunday mornings. Rush hour traffic threw additional travel time into the mix on weeknights, which prohibited our attendance at other church events. No one else we knew at the church lived in our community. We'd … [Read more...]

Survey: Pastors & Leaders, How Does Your Church Relate To Members Over 40?

Last summer, I launched an informal survey in this space asking readers over age 40 to describe their relationship with their local church. Pollster George Barna’s 2011 State Of The Church survey reported that church attendance is on the decline among mature adults. One of the most significant drops in regular attendance came among Baby Boomers, those born between 1946-1964. There was an uptick in the number of Baby Busters (those born between 1965-1983) who do not claim any church a … [Read more...]