I’m newly retired, but I know that Christians don’t ever really retire. I know on the one hand that I need to do something to serve, but frankly, I’m tired, and doing nothing sounds good, too. I don’t know how to proceed. As seniors is there really a place for us?
Seriously girl, you speak for so many of us in the over 60 crowd. We ARE tired, and we want a break. It’s okay to take a short one, but don’t forget to actively pursue your place in ministry. Every part of the body is necessary to fulfill the mission of the Gospel – and that includes you.
Truthfully, churches are looking for people just like you to fulfill important and necessary ministries. They need you. You can count on it — there are ministries out there where you can use your giftedness and your skill set to make a difference in a way that works for you.
At our church, I oversee the welcoming ministries. This group of volunteers includes parking attendants who smile and wave at people driving into the lot and direct them to open spaces, greeters at the entrance doors, and at the welcome desk, etc. I schedule workers and reach out to potential volunteers to integrate them into welcoming. Our structure includes a leader over parking and a leader over greeting. These two handle schedule changes, provide caring support to the volunteers, etc.
I also assist new members in finding their place of service in general – be it welcoming, worship team, hospitality, children/student ministries, facilities, or whatever. Would you like more information on the system we’ve developed to take guests from visiting the first time to becoming fully assimilated? Leave a comment below. Helping newcomers down the path of belonging is so important but impossible for pastors to do alone.
Churches have needs in the area of pastoral care (visiting shut-ins, letters to visitors, mentoring younger women, assisting with benevolence, prayer, etc.), hospitality (meals after funerals, special events, coffee on Sunday mornings, etc.), administration (data entry, letters/phone calls to newcomers, etc.), coordination with local ministries you are partnered with, and much more.
So what about you? Believe you me, having spent 30 years in pastoral ministry, if you had come to my husband with any of these ideas, he would have fallen to your feet weeping tears of joy. Bathe this process in prayer – from your attitude about serving to finding a ministry you can get excited about. These days at home are the perfect time to explore your options and pray. Next, talk to your pastor, share your heart, and together try to ascertain your best fit. Look at what you bring to the table. Look at the needs of your church. Think creatively. Pray for wisdom, and God will give you the heart to serve and the opportunity to make a difference.
You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this.
Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.
– I Corinthians 12:27 (MSG)