by Guest blogger: Cherie McLaughlin of Couched Based Biz
Seniors have much to offer the church and its members, particularly the youth. Today, Find we will examine some ways to keep older adults engaged so that they continue to feel that they are valued members.
Make Services Available Online
As people age, they often experience a decline in health. Sometimes older adults wake up with a lack of energy, pain, exhaustion, and/or depression. It may be too difficult to make it to church. One way to handle this is through technology. If your worship services are available online, be sure they are equipped to watch. A follow-up call or visit discussing the message would be a great added service.
Encourage senior members to participate in music. Music can be an excellent way to give back to the church, especially for older adults. For instance, seniors may participate in a choir or a musical group. Music is known for providing cognitive stimulation and has even been used as a form of therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Participating in music at church also keeps senior members active as they attend practices and perform at services. Music is a great way to bring people together, socialize, and feel valued knowing that they’re serving the church. Additionally, music therapy is being used by Christian Music Therapists for many people in need, including seniors suffering from dementia.
Peer Care and Outreach
Peer care and peer outreach is another great way to keep seniors involved in church. Older adults may feel the need to confide in peers regarding emotional or social struggles they’re experiencing. A church providing a means for that to happen would be a blessing.
Volunteer opportunities can keep senior members of the church active as well as mentally engaged. Senior volunteers often have better health than those not involved in these activities because they’re out and about and socializing with others. There are a variety of volunteer activities suitable for older adults, such as answering phones, helping with after-school programs, making copies of bulletins, hymns, or programs, and other administrative tasks. Other volunteer opportunities could involve helping others in the community, such as working in a food ministry, participating in programs that help disabled home-buyers, or collecting canned goods for those in need.
Starting a senior mail team is another way to keep seniors involved in your church’s activities. For instance, these teams may meet every week or every other week to socialize while assembling church newsletters or preparing announcements and other church information. This can be a great way to serve the church while enjoying the company of peers. They may also want to send cards and notes to shut-ins.
Encourage Involvement and Spread the Word
Encouraging seniors to be involved with their place of worship is important to their well-being and can create a positive impact. Aging members of the church have so much knowledge and history they can pass on to younger members of the congregation. Likewise, they can learn from younger members and benefit from the involvement. Church members need to spread the word about different senior groups and activities to encourage seniors to stay active and involved with the church.
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