The Bullard Journal for June 12, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019: “Strategic Insight”: The 50+ Congregation. It is time to pull out an old file and reintroduce the 50+ Congregation as a viable choice for some congregations who now find it difficult to reach families with children. It is not for every congregation in this situation, but it is for some.
A 50+ Congregation is one who intentionally focuses on Empty Nesters and Senior Adults. They probably maintain a traditional approach to worship, discipleship, fellowship, and missional engagement. At least the type of traditional approach with which their members grew up.
One of the most important things they do is establish a proactive focus on Empty Nest households. These are the most forgotten households in the life and ministry of congregations. They are the ones many congregations depend on to provide leadership, finances, and participation in the life and ministry of the congregation. But they also have tremendous needs for ministry support themselves.
Many Empty Nest households are what is referred to as the “Club Sandwich Generation.” The have between one and four parents who have some dependency needs on them. They have adult children who need support in various ways and may never have become financially independent. Then they have grandchildren that they quietly admit to their closest friends are not being raised right by their parents.
A 50+ Congregation can involve a full transformation of an existing congregation, or the creation and sustaining of a worship experience totally focused on Empty Nesters and Senior Adults, and another one totally focused on Young to Median Age Adult-Led Households. For this to be successful congregations need to make the transformation while they have a generous amount of leadership resources. It is not for weak congregations struggling with survival.
More to come later about this Strategic Insight.