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.
With that role description in mind, I have hoped that this ongoing series of blogs for spirited older adults could also serve as a set of tools for congregational leaders. *Let me give you a few examples of 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 Authentic Jesus from January 30, 2018.)
Any number of 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. (A good example might be Celebrating older birthdays, from April 27, 2018.)
Support group for caregivers
Having been a care-giving volunteer for a number of older adults, I know first-hand that caregivers themselves may need care! The blogs that serve this function are right there when you type in “care-givers” or “care-giving”. The support? Your mutual conversation and witness with others like you! (For example, see Words you can use, from December 2, 2017.)
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 the subject—the middle of September, 2017.)
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 beyond your own reading, consider them as one way in which you can extend your own ministry among older adults. With me as your invisible partner!
A tool and die guy….
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