“Will you come to train us on how to reach young people,” was an invitational line I asked more times than I can count when I was CBF’s Church Start Specialist. As a pastor who had successfully created a new church reaching 20, 30, 40 somethings, many aging congregations wanted to know the secret.
“I’ll teach you how to reach young people if you train me on how to reach older people,” was my go-to response.
Not many churches talk about wanting to grow older, but that’s precisely what we are challenging UBC to do. We want to become a hub for retired age adults now.
We are not only dedicated ministerial staff to this area of growth with our Minister of Children and Retirees, Tanya Parks, but we are also developing a Retiree Planning Team to focus our efforts.
With a broad range of ages, the retired population brings unique and exciting opportunities for points of connection with UBC.
Our first goal is to create opportunities to develop relationships. Building off of the monthly luncheon, we want to expand this opportunity to include shared interest groups. Come for lunch and stay for fun small group activities. We are also expanding points of connection by creating more monthly activities.
We want to build strong intergenerational connections throughout UBC by pairing members of the retired community with children and their families through the Barnabas Project. On October 1, we will offer a Barnabas Project Gathering during the Coffee & Community hour on Sunday.
To be retired does not diminish one’s worth to the faith community but an opportunity to amplify it by discovering ways to share one’s strengths and passions. We want to help retirees find the joy and purpose behind volunteering to help UBC grow. Whether serving on the development team, greeting on Sundays, teaching children, or leading a shared interest group, there are limitless opportunities for retirees to share their best selves with UBC.
What growing a retiree ministry means for UBC is a willingness to step out in faith to participate, invite others to join you, and reach out to friends that are not a part of UBC. Do not underestimate the power of your willingness to show up by sharing your time, attention, energy, and passions.