40+ And The Church/Practicing In Community

tree

"I wonder what the average age is of the group in this room."Author and pastor Ian Morgan Cron scanned the group gathered in the chapel at Willow Creek last Sunday night for the experimental gathering dubbed The Practice. He was there to speak about, then lead us in communion. While there were a good number of twenty- and thirty-somethings representing, the crowd definitely skewed to older Gen X'ers and Boomers. Probably because there is no childcare or children's programming available at … [Read more...]

Midlife Discipleship: Show Me Your Endurance

running

What do those in the second half of their lives tell the big "C" Church about the kind of faith that endures? I'd like to suggest that those at midlife and beyond have something important to teach all of us about "marathon faith": And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)  While many of us may know a wise older person who serves as a titled leader or ad hoc spiritual mentor in a congregation, I am … [Read more...]

Why The Church Took a Pass on Boomers

“Even after several years, I’m still a guest here.” It wasn’t the first time I’d had this thought on a Sunday morning at church.God knows I’d tried to plug into the life of the nondenominational church my husband and I had attended for more than three years. But one Sunday I had an epiphany about why I felt like a perpetual visitor. The insight came as I read the announcements for coming events. These included:A Mothers of Preschoolers year-end luncheon Information about a family campo … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Creating A Culture Of Maturity

coffee hour

In my earlier posts in this series, I queried pastors and church leaders about their experience pastoring those over 40. (Click here if you'd like to have a peek at those posts.) Those responsible for shepherding their congregations are stretched in dozens of different directions on any given day. A discussion about how to effectively minister to older congregants may sound as though I'm suggesting adding another half-dozen tasks to that impossible to-do list.As several respondents to that … [Read more...]

Healing And The Favorite College Game ‘Guess The Major’

fell hall

In 2007, I wrote a post (here) about what happened to me when I visited the scene of a whole bunch of crimes (most of the PG-13 variety at that point in my life) after three decades had passed. My husband Bill and I headed to the cornfields of Central IL to see Shakespere's "Love's Labour's Lost" and I had an opportunity to revisit the campus where I'd been a student in the late 1970's. As I am working on a chapter for my upcoming book on the topic of regret, this episode has come to mind as an … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / When Christian Ambition Fades To Gray

leader

I was in a room with a bunch of young pastors-in-training, and commented to a friend that I could feel the testosterone in the air even though there were a number of women present."That's not testosterone you're sensing," he told me. "It's ambition."As I observed the body language among the group (so many firm two-handed handshakes!), and listened to snatches of conversation, I realized my friend was right. Many of those in the room were anxious to impress the others around them, and … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Beyond Recreation Therapy?

senors

Since I started writing and speaking about midlifers' changing relationship with the local church, various friends have pointed me toward a few churches who are making some sort of attempt to minister to their older congregants. As I learned when I offered my survey on the subject earlier this summer, many congregations don't know what to do to nurture spiritual maturity in their "second adulthood" members beyond asking them to fill slots on the church org chart. This energizes some, but leaves … [Read more...]


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