Thanks to Rev. Dr. Anna Hall (Convergence) for writing up this Great Idea!
After sharing sobering statics about how US Christianity is aging, Hall wonders, “How can those of us who remain in the church as we age nurture younger generations if they are not with us in our congregations?”
Her Great Idea is, “What if we were to become elders not just for our congregation, but in service to our larger community?”
This is a theme The Ministry Lab has supported for years now, so we can’t help but feature how Hall fills it out.
She lists biblical characters who, as respected elders, served their larger communities, then turns to Grey Panther founder, Margaret Kuhn, whose Five M’s outline ‘five appropriate roles [elders have] to play’:
- mentors who guide younger folks
- mediators who work to transform civil, racial and intergenerational conflict
- monitors, or watchdogs of government and decision makers
- mobilizers of social change; and
- motivators toward public good
Hall also highlights Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older (Grand Central; 1995), with the quote, ‘…elders serve as conduits between the divine realm and the mundane world, making the abstract truths of spirituality accessible to the community by embodying them their everyday behavior’.
Find additional resources on Aging [and Memory Care] in our lib guide.
Members can, of course, contact The Ministry Lab for brainstorming, inspiration, and support in pursuing this or any other area of ministry!