I get a kick out of the names of senior ministries. Some are straightforward like Senior Adult Ministry (SAM). Other names like O.A.S.I.S. remind me of a secret government counter-intelligence agency you might find on the old “Get Smart” TV show. O.A.S.I.S stands for Older Adults Still In Service. Keeping with the slogan “you’re only as old as you feel,” some cute senior ministry names are FYI (Forever Young Inside), JOY (Just Older Youths), and the ever popular Young At Heart Senior Ministry. No good acronym for that one! The Golden Eagles Senior Adult Ministry sounds a little like a commando squad. I picture a team of old Rambos armed to the hilt parachuting into the enemy’s camp bellowing, “Never fear! The Golden Eagles are here!” Another great name one senior ministry calls itself is simply, “The Classics.” I love that name. It reminds me of a doo wop oldies group. I picture older men in sleeveless muscle shirts and black leather jackets, and women wearing poodle skirts, all posing like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Speaking of seasons, the Seasoned Saints is a very popular name. I don’t know exactly what they are seasoned with. I hear salt is a very good preservative. Another senior ministry group name is Prime Time. I guess if you are not old enough to join that group it would make you “Not Ready for Prime Time.” I hope you know that I’m just having fun, especially since I fall into the 55+ crowd myself.
On the other hand, the 50+ age group is no joke. They are massive and they are mighty. Most are referred to as the Baby Boomers. The first boomers are now 68 and the youngest boomers turn fifty this year. In American someone turns fifty years old every 7 seconds! AARP estimates 45% of the U.S. population will over fifty by 2015. Show me the money! Three-fourths of our nation’s wealth is controlled by the 55+ age group. Guess what? They like to spend it too! In fact, they outspend all other generations. They spend 50% of all vacation dollars and outspend the average consumer in almost every category. They are not afraid of new technology either. One-third of Internet users and 44% of smartphone users are over fifty. Boomers rely heavily on the Internet for information to make major purchases. They’re not sitting at home becoming couch potatoes either. Americans over 55 are now the fastest group to join a gym.1
The next generation of retirees will live longer, healthier lives and are the most educated generation in American history. They are not taking retirement lying down and they don’t view it as an endless summer vacation either. They want the second half of their life to be just as productive as the first half. They want their work to count for something. The 55+ group like volunteer work. Nearly half of this age group did so at least once last year. Here’s the kicker though; they need to be asked. The number of older adult volunteers could grow substantially if they were simply asked.2 Older people are ready, willing and able to help, if only asked to do so. They would be a valuable resource to their church, civic organization, and community.
I’m glad God thinks senior saints are special people too. It’s true “outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16 NIV). Age may slow us down a little, but we are still dancing wildly on the inside. Growing older doesn’t need to be a depressing thought. The Bible promises that “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18 NKJV). God has good things in store for His people regardless of their age. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11 NKJV). There’s no reason we can’t be productive in our latter years. “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (Ps. 92:14 NKJV). The good news is God will be with us even in our old age. “I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Is. 46:4 NLT).
1 “Resources – 50+ Facts & Fiction.” Facts and Fiction. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.
2 “Demographics.” Experience Corps. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.