Coping with an Aging Population
Pastor and futurist Richard Kew predicts, as Baby Boomers near retirement age and the numbers of elderly increase, local churches will be faced with these challenges:
- Delayed retirement. "Older people will work much longer. Now in my fifties, I do not expect to retire until at least 72 or 75. Older pastors will be necessary to work among seniors as they adjust."
- Giving to their nest egg. "I suspect we will see seniors, who have been the primary financial support for churches in the last 40 to 50 years, setting aside much more of their resources to support themselves. Ministry will have to look for other ways to fund itself."
- Unpredictable volunteer force. "Older folks have the energy and ability to make a significant difference for the kingdom." But, many of those may be working freelance after retirement. They "may be unavailable for volunteer work for several months, then later return." Kew advises developing short-term mission opportunities for older people.