Saturday, April 29, 2006

planting churches for the 3rd age

I am in a number of conversations among people at Opawa about planting a fifth congregation; a third-age congregation, church for wise older people. Under our multi-congregation model; church is about growing in community; growing in spirituality; growing in mission.

This invites the question; “what would church look like for you and your friends who don’t know Jesus” to grow in community; spirituality; mission.

I have dreamed of church for the 3rd age since I arrived at Opawa. People are living longer and most Western countries have an increasingly older demographic. I have been among some fruitful conversations among Opawa people in recent weeks. Some books I have found helpful in my thinking include Older people and the church based on real research in the UK among older people, both churched and unchurched; and Pioneering the 3rd age another missional perspective in the UK.

Posted by steve at 01:30 PM


  1. Excellent idea, I remeber hearing in a conversation with Bishop Graham Cray about a similar concept in the UK. They used the principles of an afterschool club and tweaked them for a group that was aimed at retired proffesionals – sorry i can’t remeber what the group was called but Bishop Graham spoke very highly of them

    Comment by michael — May 3, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  2. Cheers Michael. I always find it interesting what gets commented on in this blog. I think this is the most exciting part of “emerging church” I’ve been involved with in a long time.

    Comment by steve — May 3, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  3. I suppose a separate community for a senior generation can create a safe place for them to pursue mission in their own context but imagine what strength can be supplied when a local body is a blend of the energy of youth and the wisdom that is derived from experience. I shudder at compartmentalization and rejoice when God demonstrates His hand of grace by creating a unity within diversity. That is not natural. It is only supernatural!

    Comment by Howard — May 6, 2006 @ 4:16 am

  4. Howard,
    in the multi-congregational model we work very hard at unity and diversity. all congregations share the same values; a baptism in 1 congregation is videod and shown at other congregations; we have shared church celebrations that include meals and eating together at least twice a year; we share the major Christian festivals at Easter, Pentecost and Christmas; various congregations serve the mission of other congregations.


    Comment by steve — May 6, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

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