Back in the day, “congregational tool and die guy” was my way of describing my role as a resource developer. Alongside other colleagues, I wrote workshop designs, constructed large-scale programs—e.g., The Pelican Project—and set up nation-wide resource introduction tours. The results: curricula, events, replicable workshops, booklets, videos and programs in stewardship, Christian education, hunger and leadership development.
I have hoped that these *blogs for spirited older adults could also serve as a set of tools for congregational leaders. Consider the following examples how you could take these entries into settings where you and other older adults might share your insights, support each other and advocate for the well-being of seniors.
Some of my blogs have direct Scripture connections; others refer to biblical concepts. You can delve into these passages or ideas by adding in Scripture-specific discussion/sharing questions. And you can make almost any entry into a Bible conversation with the question, “What might the Bible have to say about this idea/concept/suggestion?” For example, see Mission for any congregation (May 5, 2021), Addendum: Parable of the Sower (May 10, 2021) or Authentic Jesus (January 30, 2018).
These entries could be a source of comfort or understanding for those who visit elders in their homes. Other entries might be helpful in congregational programs that train or support a cadre of home visitors. Examples might include: Languishing (April 23, 2019) or Celebrating older birthdays (April 27, 2018).
Support group for caregivers
Having been a care-giving volunteer for older adults, I know first-hand that caregivers themselves may need care! (Enter “care-givers” or “care-giving” in the Search box.) The support? Your mutual conversation and witness with others like you! Examples: Words you can use (December 2, 2017), Word therapy (April 15, 2021) or Rejoicing in “okay” (August 30, 2021).
Older adult groups
In congregations with programs or events for older adults, almost any one of the entries can serve as the featured topic. Participants receive a copy of the blog and share their thoughts with each other—a kind of witnessing or testimony! With some advance preparation, you can supplement the blog discussion with a local expert’s presentation. Think social service agency workers, professional caregivers, teachers, Social security staff, counselors, medical workers, occupational therapists, etc. For example, your pastor could comment about memorial services after the group reads my series of blogs about that subject. (Enter “memorial services” in the Search box.)
Mailings and newsletters
Because all of the blogs span less than 600 words, they might make suitable material for mailings to older adults or a monthly column in your congregation’s newsletter. Yes, you can edit anything I write down to whatever size fits your space, or lift a few worthwhile sentences for your own writing! No copyright requests necessary, but I’d appreciate a credit line….
However you use these entries, consider them as one way in which you can extend your own ministry among older adults. With me as your invisible partner!
A retooled tool and die guy….
*You can access any of the blogs I’ve written by visiting www.fullofyears.org, clicking on “Blogs” and then “Topics.” Or you can click on the three parallel lines—three dots on a Smartphone—at the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and find the Search box right under my photo and bio. Type in several different words or phrases and see what comes up! A third option: Go to “Blogs” and “Archives” and find entries that might fit a certain season or time of year.