Today the blog post “From The Superintendent’s Desk” is highlighting the General Conference Church of God (Seventh Day) Southwest District, GC COG7 SWD, Seniors Ministry. For the purposes of identifying the older adults or those who may fit into the SWD Seniors Ministry demographic, it includes all adults 55 years old and older. SWD Seniors Ministry Team Members need not be 55+ years old. The category defines the demographic to which the SWD Seniors Ministry focuses its service.
The SWD Seniors Ministry Directors are Thomas and Jaxel Childers. They are building a District wide Team of Ministry Partners to 1) facilitate services for seniors, 2) develop vibrant seniors ministries in Local Churches, and 3) provide ministry opportunities by seniors. If you are being called to this demographic ministry, please contact your SWD Area Director, the SWD Media, the GC COG7 Office, or me, the SWD Superintendent, and we will refer your contact information to Brother Thomas and Sister Jaxel Childers. Thank you, Pastor Thomas and Sister Jaxel as you build this ministry in honor and glory to God, in edification for the Church, and in the continuing work of the gospel.
Society throughout the ages has held in high esteem those who can provide benefits for the agenda of the ruling components in the society. But most societies have not held in high esteem those who are growing older, even when they are still functional and productive in ministry. That is a sad testimony on the societies of this world. The Word of God explicitly gives commands in esteeming the older among us.
The purpose of this blog is twofold. It is intended to 1) identify the faithful SWD Directors of this Ministry and 2) motivate you to consider establishing and working in Local Church or District Seniors Ministry. SWD Seniors Ministry Directors Thomas and Jaxel Childers have been introduced above. So, speaking to the second purpose, I want to describe Seniors Ministry and share a few Bible verses that may have commands, instruction, hopes or concerns to or from older adults the SWD calls Seniors.
SWD Seniors Ministry is ministry that focuses on ministry to, with, and from older adults. The goals of such a ministry are chosen by the SWD Seniors Ministry Directors and usually are to help identify the calling of an older adult in the life of the church, equipping, and supporting them for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. A healthy Seniors Ministry, whether in the Local Church or at the SWD level, seeks to understand the role, strengths, needs, and challenges of the older adults.
Developing a healthy Seniors 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 (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16) and applies that same honor to the gray heads in our community (Leviticus 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.
It is important to understand quality of life for the older adult depends greatly upon having a remaining purpose for that life. When multi-generational Church life includes three or more generations between the cradle and the grave, the health of the Local Church is improved. Who in your Local Church directs the Older Adult or Seniors Ministry? If you do not have one, is there someone who has a heart for this ministry with whom you could partner to build a healthy Seniors Ministry? Or, are you that person?
When I think of Seniors, adults 55+ years old, the following verses come to my mind.
Psalms 92:12-15, NIV
- The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
- planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
- They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
- proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Leviticus 19:32, NIV
Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.
Joel 2:28, NIV
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Job 12:12, NIV
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
Isaiah 46:4, NIV
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Proverbs 17:6, NIV
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 23:22, NIV
Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Psalm 71:9, NIV
Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
Psalm 71:18, NIV
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Exodus 20:12, NIV
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 32:7, NIV
Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.
Isaiah 40:31, NIV
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Psalm 71:8-9, NIV
- My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
- Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. You are being challenged to remember all the demographic ministries of the Church. Today, we are being challenged to be like Jesus Christ and never leave nor forsake those who have accumulated years, above and beyond 55, just over half a century on this earth.
The love of the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.