It is our joy and privilege to present this free resource to all of our congregations in the NALC. Many of our congregations, leaders, and lay people have articulated the need for such a resource.
We are grateful to Pastor Hales for donating his time to share this resource. In the introduction, he writes:
In Psalm 71:17-18 it is written, “O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
We’re never too old to grow in our relationship with the Lord and share the “Good News” of Jesus Christ, are we? Aging is a part of life, and the psalmist reminds us that God will continue to walk with us and use us to grow Christ’s Kingdom. And this is done is by becoming disciples and making disciples for Jesus.
The facts are clear. America is aging at a rapid rate. Daily, 10,000 people are turning 65 years of age. By 2060 almost 100 million people in the United States will be 60 years old or more. e fastest growing population within the older realm will be those individuals 85 years and above. And then there is the church. e church is already feeling the e ects of the “age wave.” e average congregational member is in his or her 60s. When you walk into many of our parishes a “sea of gray” overwhelms the pews; the shouts and laughter of young children are seldom heard.
Some would surmise this is the reason the church is declining. Some would suggest that simply hiring a youth director would attract young families with children. While a possibility, this is not realistic in the majority of our congregations. We simply need to change our way of thinking. Instead of looking negatively upon an aging church, we should begin to see the possibilities for evangelism, discipleship and renewal. As the general popula
tion grows older, why can’t the church use this resource to grow “mature disciples” and bring about “vibrancy” within the life of the Body?
This is the focus of our Bible study: Assisting older adults in clinging to the faithful promises of God, and “walking alongside” those who want to grow into “mature disciples.” Because as we grow into the discipleship of Jesus Christ, we will have several opportunities to disciple others. As it is written in Isaiah 46:3-4:
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house
of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
To download the entire Bible Study Packet, please click here: Graying in Grace Bible Study.