Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Review: David Gallagher's Senior Adult Ministry in the 21st Century

We need a book like this.
  • 12% of all Americans are over the age of 65.
  • By 2030, the percentage will rise to 20%.
  • But there are few resources out there for pastors who minister to this group. In the Oregon Conference, for instance, there's no departmental equivalent to "Youth" or "Children's Ministries" for senior citizens.
So yes, we need a book like David Gallagher's Senior Adult Ministry in the 21st Century: Step-by-Step Strategies for Reaching People Over 50.

Unfortunately, this is not the book we need.

Don't get me wrong -- Gallagher was an effective pastor with a growing church who knew how to reach senior adults. (He's since gone on staff at the Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin.) He has good ideas. He blogs for Christianity Today's Building Adult Ministries: Leadership for Adults Over 50. And he comes across as a really nice guy.

But his book is poorly edited . . . and poorly organized. It reads like somebody rode in the car with him on a long trip -- from Phoenix to Chicago, say -- and taped the conversation, then published the transcript as a book.

In short, it rambles.

So if you're looking for a couple of good ideas -- not to mention the assurance that ministry to seniors can be vital and creative -- then go ahead and read Gallagher's book.

But if you're looking for something that does for senior adults the same kind of thing that Doug Fields already does for Youth . . .

Then that's a book you'll need to write yourself.

1 comment:

richies said...

In the rural south where I am living I think that many Adventist churches are over 50 percent retirees

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