My wife Kathleen and I will be relocating to The Villages, Florida after Christmas to embark on a new journey. We have been invited to join one other couple there and seek to birth a new church which will be composed primarily of age 55+ people. There are over 80,000 older adults in The Villages alone which is located about an hour north of Orlando and near other towns like Lady Lake, Leesburg and Ocala.
The Villages is a unique community not just because of it’s size, but also because of it’s ultra active lifestyle. Golf is just the beginning with 513 holes to play. There are also 100 tennis courts, 62 pools and over 1600 clubs to join. It would be easy to just play away one’s retirement at a place like that. I like to play too but we all need balance. We hope to challenge Villagers to “Play Hard and Pray Hard.”
We hope to create a unique church that appeals more to Boomers. What will it look like? I’ll have to get back to you on that one but I know that the music will reflect Boomer tastes and the atmosphere will be casual – after all, we are in Florida and most are retired so the daily shave for men is optional and business casual IS the new definition of dressed up. Perhaps the core DNA of this new church will be it’s missional focus. The church does not exist for itself, it exists for the world around it and we want to create a menu of service opportunities for a large segment of Kingdom workers that have the time, resources and life experience to make a significant and even eternal contribution during the second half of life.
Will we meet Saturday or Sunday or both? Will we sit in rows of chairs or around tables? Will we have a nursery provided??? We Don’t Know! This is the proverbial “build the plane as you fly” experience and we will take it a step at a time, asking God to show us His way. At this point in the life of the church plant with “us four and no more” we are simply going to meet to study His Word, pray and break bread together. We are praying that God would double our church by year end – do the math! We will begin in living rooms and rec centers and at Starbucks and Panera where we will watch God build His Church. Please pray with us.
Do you know anyone living in or near The Villages? I would enjoy meeting them and following up. I can learn from them about their own spiritual journey in their second half of life and also learn about the spiritual climate in The Villages. Our mission there is simply to reach the lost and mobilize the found for the cause of Christ. We pray that we will unlock some keys to ministering to Boomers and with that knowledge, help other pastors and churches to improve their ministry to this large and vital segment of the Church. They’re not done yet. They want an encore and they pray that the best has been saved for last.
What ideas do you have for Boomer ministry? What makes it unique?
Do you know anyone in The Villages? Send me their contact information at my personal email – email@example.com.