When I worked for CBF Global, I became the guy who spoke with congregations about growing younger. Churches would often bring me in to answer their question about how to reach young people.
That is a fascinating question, which comes with a complexity of answers and implantation strategies.
However, if the congregation was open, I offered an alternative. “What you truly want to know is how to grow intergenerationally,” I would say. “A healthy and thriving congregation has a balance of all ages, who can give voice and leadership to the fullness of the church’s mission and vision.”
We have been making great strides in growing our children through the young adult population, through the MDO, Soccer Academy, Connect Groups, Parent’s Night Outs, a revamped Children’s Ministry, etc.
However, we are beginning to put our weight down in growing our congregation in our retiree generations, older Boomers, and Traditionalists. In short, we want to become a hub for retirees.
There are five intentional first steps to this vision:
1. Our Strategic Growth Initiative’s age-specific groups, led by David Patterson (Baby Boomers) and Bubba Henry (Silent/Traditionalist), focus on how minister to and reach out to both members and potential new members in these age groups.
2. Deb McElgin’s role has shifted to incorporate ministering to retirees.
3. Creating a monthly relationship-focused gathering called the Grand Outing.
4. Placing a greater emphasis on the monthly luncheon, with hopes to expand it to include like-interest groups.
5. Considering new Connect Groups with age-specific focus.
Grand plans are just that, plans. However, to be successful, grand plans require participation and inviting others to join, both within and outside of UBC.
Even in this strange social distancing time, you can participate without physically being present through video and phone conferencing. If this a challenge for you, reach out to the Church Office, which can provide step-by-step training.
If you have ideas that might enhance the ministry to retirees or want to get more involved in leading, reach out to Deb McElgin (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Minister to Retirees, David Patterson (email@example.com), the Baby Boomer SGI Leader, or Bubba Henry (E.Henry@arlaw.com), the Silent Generation SGI Leader.
University Baptist Church is seeking to enhance the intergenerational dynamics of our thriving faith community. We are hoping you will play a part in helping us become a hub for retirees.