Under the analogy of the renovation of a rundown farm, this article shows that older adults must once again be restored to productive and fruitful Christian service. Their wisdom and experience must be utilized as a valuable resource for the church. Research involved an integration of the social theories of aging within a biblical framework to discover the most effective way to renew the honor and respect due them. Procedures for initiating and consolidating this ministry are spelled out in detail. Finally, the development of an effective organization will depend on goals and objectives determined by the leadership of the older adults themselves.
The foundations of an effective church ministry with older adults are a personal relationship with God and personal relationships with the older adults in the church. The general and particular needs of these older adults must be assessed, prioritized, and then met through goal-setting, strategizing, and careful implementation. The older adults themselves must be an integral part of their own ministry, sharing the dependency on God's leading and blessing, and working through each element of the ministry process, as facilitated by the church leadership.
Demographic upheaval--the gray revolution--forces the church to consider a biblical approach for ministry to older adults. Senior adults can no longer be ignored in the church. Functioning with the hypothesis that the "biblical approach" is a needs-centered approach, this article establishes a biblical perspective on aging, a biblical perspective of man, the needs of older adults based on developmental psychology, and a proposal for Christian education for senior adults that is in the truest sense biblical.
This is a foundational study providing five basic biblical principles on which to build an effective ministry to older adults. Each principle represents clear scriptural teaching applied to basic areas of older adult characteristics and needs. Each is given illustrative application for educational implementation.
Jesus had a formidable task in reorienting the minds of His disciples away from their preconceived, culturally taught concepts of Messiah to His own knowledge of the truth. While they thought that the establishment of the Kingdom would mean a political deliverance for Israel by the Davidic heir and miracle worker Jesus, He had to teach them of the immanent death of the King. Today, Christian educators face the same problem as their Lord--how to introduce and teach ideas foreign to the thinking of their followers. Jesus knew perfectly the methodology for such an attempt and executed it flawlessly. Modern man is in dire need of such a teacher.
A sound Christian education philosophy will enable the evangelical church to guide believers through the many crosscurrents of change impacting on them today. Formation principles are needed to guide spiritual development. These are critical from infancy through late adulthood and can be communicated through creative options in both formal and informal settings. In order to have a clear strategy, the following components must be clarified: (1) The educational philosophies influencing one's Christian education approach; (2) the importance of interfacing between general education and Christian education; (3) biblical and theological principles at the root of, and integrated throughout, the process of Christian formation and discipleship; and (4) praxis as the ethical bridge between theory and practice.
This article addresses the importance of staff trainer modeling in the local church. The author explores some key reasons why many church teachers have difficulty teaching and relating to their students in ways most conducive for Christian education. The role of the staff trainer is regarded as crucial in facilitating change in teachers. Practical suggestions are given to the staff trainer for modeling relationships and teaching methods in the context of staff development.
There has been an increasing tendency in recent years for Christians to adopt a more militant posture regarding what are perceived to be excessive intrusions by government into the affairs of churches and church-related institutions. This militancy has been influenced, if not exacerbated, by contemporary personalities who claim that the touchstone for determination of whether obedience is owed to any government is the manifestation of a secular humanism within that government. The purpose of this article is to examine whether reliance on secular humanism as the basis for civil disobedience might produce effects inconsistent with a biblical pattern of behavior.
Christian education directors, teachers, and curriculum developers who deal with adult ministries will need to be alert to the forces that will bend the shape of adult Christian education. Some of these are social, such as the growing number of adults and the increased percentage of older adults, a phenomena termed the "graying of America." This graying of America might eventuate in the maturing of America if church leaders are aware of the opportunities in adult Christian education. Rapid change and pluralism are two other social changes dealt with in this article. The shape of adult Christian education will also be molded around what we have learned about the adult learner. Most determinative are the findings that adults are self-directed in their learning, are performance oriented, diverse, and are in the process of developing. Implications drawn from these will help church leaders get things in shape for future adult ministries.