Today, many churches and their related agencies and ministries are shrinking. Often a large portion of those who remain are older adults. Celebrating the Graying Church suggests that this is an opportunity for a new and different kind of ministry—a ministry to, with, and from older adults who may have wisdom to pass on to the legacy of the future generations. This book offers opportunities, ideas, and guidance for this new vision and practice of ministry, while also describing how aging adults in ministry can support each other and their faith communities.
Richard P. Olson retired as Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in 2016. He served as a parish minister for nearly forty years and is the author of a number of books. In 2000, the Academy of Parish Clergy selected Ministry with Families in Flux (coauthored with Joe Leonard) as one of the year’s ten best books. In 2018, the Academy of Parish clergy recognized Olson’s work again, naming A Guide to Ministry Self-Care (coauthored with Ruth Lofgren Rosell, Nathan S. Marsh, and Angela Barker Jackson) as one of the year’s ten most important books for ministers.
Richard P. Olson's book provides practical and informative guidance and inspiring stories for developing effective congregational ministry with older adults. I hope every pastor, older adult, and leader of older adult ministry will read this book and discover the many resources and new learning that will greatly enhance their older adult ministry.
Olson has an uncanny ability to make one feel like an equal colleague, good friend, and joyful younger sibling. This book contains so much good advice and pearls of wisdom. Seldom have I read a book on aging that conveys such energy and is so full of life.
Richard Olson writes from the perspective of a partner on the journey. Stories of personal and pastoral experience interweave with depths of information on the aging process. Any pastor or layperson who cares for the “olders” among us will find in this book invaluable guidance and resources to build relationships and ministry.