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Reaching younger persons is often the subject for conversation among church leaders who are rightly concerned about next-generation vitality and leadership. But at times it seems to come at the expense of a broader concern about intergenerational community and the spiritual needs of all persons.

It is amazing the kind of gimmicks that some churches will do in order to “reach” young people — or pull them from a neighboring congregation whose latest gimmickry is getting stale.

So it was refreshing to read (via my friend Ircel Harrison’s Facebook page) about efforts to start congregations in settings that are convenient to the growing numbers of older adults.

According to Amy Hanson, 55+ communities are proving to be good places to plant churches. My only hope is that such congregations will have intentional intergenerational engagement.

But the realization that older adults need the church’s attention as well as younger persons is refreshing. Personally, I am often buoyed by the quiet, strong testimonies of faithfulness by the veterans of life.

Spend a little time in even casual conversation and the generalization that all older persons are closed-minded and inflexible will prove to be false. Energy, insight and openness to new ideas are not the sole property of any generation.

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