“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.  They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” – Psalm 92:12-15

Welcome to CDM’s Older Adult Ministry page. Whoever trusts in the Lord will continue to bear good fruit at every stage of their life. The certain promise of God to his people is that he will always be at work in and through us, regardless of our circumstances, abilities, or age. This is an essential truth for the older adults in our church communities. We live in a world that frequently marginalizes and dismisses the role and value of older adults. This must not be so for God’s people, for older adults play a vital role in the life of the church.

Whether it is training a younger generation, sharing wisdom, or recounting God’s faithfulness in times of peril, older adults have an important function in the kingdom of God. Such ministry must seek to minister to, with, and from older adults. This section of our website will help you as individuals and churches to equip, support, and promote older adults within your church.

Senior Ministry

Care Giving

  • Christian Caregiving: a Way of Life by Kenneth Haugk
  • Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart by Henneth Haugk

Suffering

Grief

ONLINE RESOURCES

BOOKS

Alzheimer's Disease

Parkinson's Disease

ONLINE RESOURCES

The Older Adult Ministry Toolbox contains useful resources for working with and developing an older adult ministry.

What is older adult ministry?

Older adult ministry is ministry that focuses on ministry to, with, and from older adults. The goals of such a ministry are to help identify the particular calling of an older adult in the life of the church, equipping, and supporting them for the kingdom of God. A healthy older adult ministry seeks to understand the particular role, strengths, needs, and challenges of the older adults.

Who is an older adult?

While there are frequent references to “old age,” there is no particular definition of an older person in Scripture. For the ministerial purposes in our contemporary culture it can be helpful to think of older adults in categories of stages of development and ability. Gerontologists and social workers have identified three life stages which they have called, “young-old,” “middle-old,” and “oldest-old.” In previous years these categories were assigned age brackets, however now they are often referenced in terms of ability.

  • Young-old adults are those who are retired from regular employment and live independently.
  • Middle-old adults are those who are retired from regular employment and have experienced a physical loss that allows them limited independence.
  • Oldest-old adults are those who are retired from regular employment and have become so physically or mentally disabled that they require complete dependency on another individual.

These categories are helpful in identifying the ways individuals can serve and need assistance from the church.

Why develop an older adult’s ministry?

Developing a healthy older adult ministry is foundational for the life of the local church. This ministry is of utmost importance as we seek to be obedient to the Lord’s command. The Lord instructs us to honor our parents (Ex. 20:12, Deut. 5:16) and applies that same honor to the gray head in our community (Lev. 19:32).  In honoring our parents of the faith we become connected to mature lives that have experienced the steadfast faithfulness of their covenantal God and the wisdom that proceeds from a life well-lived in him.

How do I care for a family member with dementia?

“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”  Exodus 2:24

Even when our memory fails us, the Lord never fails to remember his people.  There are few things more frightening to know that you are losing your memory.  The devastation of dementia can be crippling for an individual and their family.  Supporting and caring for family members or congregants with dementia is an important way of demonstrating dignity and honor to our older adults. The goal of this support is to faithfully demonstrate patience and presence with them. An individual experiencing dementia needs deep reassurance and encouragement.  In their confused state it is important to step into their reality without correcting or arguing. For many with dementia, their misconceptions are their reality. Seek to create a safe environment without loud noises. Sing hymns and read Scripture to them often.

For additional resources on caring and supporting family members with dementia please go to the ministry toolbox section of this webpage.

How do I care for a bereaved person?

Grieving is unique. Each individual grieves differently based upon the form and health of the relationship that is now gone. It is important in caring for bereaved people to meet them in their grief. As God’s people we may grieve with a hope (1 Thess. 4:13) but the unnaturalness and pain of death still cause us to mourn.  The first step in helping someone grieve is permitting them to express their emotions in the ways that they are able. We do this through listening and being slow to speak. Most intimate relationships take time to process and healthily mourn. Remember the lamenting of Job’s friends who sat with their friend seven days and seven nights before saying a word.(Job 2:13) Typically bereaved individuals need short faithful presence in their lives to accept them and walk with them through their pain and sorrow.

For additional resources on caring and supporting family members with dementia please go to the ministry toolbox section of this webpage.

There are many frequently asked questions in Older Adult Ministry and most of the answers are different for each individual church. Here is an attempt to give one general answer to each of these FAQ’s, but please call or e-mail us concerning particular ministry needs and we will make every effort to direct or connect you to the best solution for your local church.