While I serve as a teaching pastor in a church dominated by college students, I’m also aware of the challenges faced by those in midlife as they seek spiritual growth and connection in a new season.
In a recent article by Michelle Van Loon, she offers some helpful insights about not overlooking this key group. She observes, “When we in the church ape (awkwardly!) our culture’s obsession with all things young and cool, when we focus our energies on creating ministries targeted at the same desirable demographic groups targeted by savvy advertisers, we communicate to those who don’t fit those specs that they are less desirable to us than the ones we really want in our church family.
“A while ago, my husband and I attended a small newcomers luncheon at a congregation we were considering attending. We watched as the church staffers, almost all in their early- to mid-30s, schmoozed with the young families in attendance. In fact, we had some pleasant conversations with a couple of these young families, as well. While I recognize the demands made on staffers at events such as this to meet and greet new people, we realized that not one person from the church staff made an effort to connect with the new people who were also obviously the oldest people in the room. We left the gathering feeling as though we’d become an anachronistic punchline.” (Click to read the full article.)