The senior adult population in the United States of America is growing three times more rapidly than the national population rate. In spite of this fact, only 1% of the churches surveyed have a director of adult ministry, while 80% of the same churches have a volunteer or paid youth worker.
Senior adults possess the capacity to grow spiritually and enrich the lives of others. Too few churches provide real resources for spiritual growth or provide senior adult ministries beyond recreational activities.
Senior adults possess a wealth of experience and knowledge that is desperately needed by younger generations. This breadth of experience and knowledge can, and should be utilized by churches and other organizations. However, most programs that are available for senior adults lack either adequate numbers or diversity of options from which seniors can choose to find meaningful service.
Senior adults sometimes possess physical limitations yet one survey shows that few churches provide ramps, elevators, large-print hymnals, or adequate sound systems to accommodate some of those needs. Rather than face such obstacles to worship, study and enrichment, many senior adults just do not go to church.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), in recognizing the needs of senior adults, issues a call to its constituent bodies for the development and implementation of aggressive ministries to senior adults which should include the following minimum objectives:
• The development of training and methodology for reaching senior adults, both for salvation and spiritual growth;
• An informed and sensitive response to the needs of senior adults through the development of diverse local church-based ministries;
• A spiritually-based focus of care for senior adults;
• The provision of appropriate ministry opportunities for senior adults.