CHICAGO, IL (March 3, 2017) — Crescendo, a new pilot project of Make and Deepen Disciples, is designed to resource local churches in exploring challenges, opportunities, and practical ideas for ministries in an aging population.
According to the U.S. Census, more than 40 million Americans are age 65 and older, comprising 13 percent of the population. By 2030, the over-65 crowd will reach 20 percent of the population.
The Crescendo team, led by Debbie Blue, Alan Forsman, and Evelyn Johnson, seeks to raise awareness of the issues surrounding aging and to provide a framework for holistic ministry to help older adults unleash their potential and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to live with purpose, vitality, and mission in the later stages of life.
Half-day events have been held at five locations in California, Illinois, and Kansas, with three future seminars planned.
The seminars target for pastors, staff, lay leadership teams, older adult ministry leaders, and others committed to maximizing the mission potential of older adults.
So far, members of 37 churches, including four non-Covenant congregations, have attended the seminars, Johnson says. Coaches follow up with participants after the event with a phone call and one-time visit, which may include leading the Crescendo seminar at the church, a planning session, or a follow-up workshop.
Coaches include Ron Short, Sharon Stenger, Lynda Delgado, and Stan Long in the Pacific Southwest Conference; Harold Spooner and Lisa Caridine in the Central Conference; and Lynn Black in the Midwest Conference.
Johnson and Forsman recently published Regenerating Generations, An Adventure in Vital Living, a resource for churches and individuals.
Future events are scheduled as follows:
- Saturday, March 4, at the Pacific Northwest Conference Leadership Matrix at Kent (Washington) Covenant Church.
- The Pacific Northwest Conference regional seminar at Newport Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 25.
- Covenant Village of Colorado in Westminster, Colorado. Time to be announced.