SBOM webinar explores common concerns, tips

SBOM webinar explores common concerns, tips

Senior adults may feel especially vulnerable during the current coronavirus crisis, but engaging and reaching out to them is an important ministry for churches.

“We’ve had care group leaders in our senior ministry to stay in touch with other seniors, and I’ve asked them to report to me if they talk with some who are especially depressed, [so] then I can reach out too,” explained Ronnie McCarson, senior adult minister at Cottage Hill Baptist Church, Mobile.

Enlist volunteers

McCarson was one of three senior adult ministers featured in the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions webinar “Ministry to Senior Adults in Challenging Times” held in June.

Bob Smith, who leads senior adult ministries at First Baptist Church, Trussville, said his church enlisted about 75 volunteers to call senior adults every week and also had a weekly email newsletter for those they call their “seasoned adults.”

“We’ve tried to get others involved in doing the work of ministry,” he said.

And now that many churches are gathering again, staff members say they are remaining aware of senior adult concerns.

Eloise Crossley, senior adult ministry director at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, said her church had removed hymnals and Bibles from the sanctuary and learned more about cleaning and sanitizing.

“Since seniors are susceptible to colds and flu, we think this will be a long-term gain for us,” Crossley said.

But Crossley believes many senior adults aren’t yet ready to regather.

All three ministers said they’ve offered Facebook posts, online worship and Zoom video Bible studies and training conferences. McCarson teaches the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson on his personal Facebook page.

‘Hooks’ in the water

“Our approach has been the trot-line approach,” Smith said. “We try to have as many ‘hooks’ in the water as we can, so we’ve used every electronic means possible.”

Smith said many of his senior adults who were a little wary of technology, especially online giving, now have begun to do it more.

“I tell our seniors the secret of getting online is to call a grandchild,” he said. “For those who continue to have difficulty, we’ve recorded DVDs of services and Bible studies we deliver to them.”

View the full webinar and additional ministry resources at