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Have you considered “Senior” Residents?
There is a great untapped and growing market for your residency program or even your volunteer staff side.
Over the past two years, my colleague Greg Ligon and I have been consulting with churches on their residency and intern programs. When we say “resident” – we mean someone in a training, apprentice process that usually gives close to full-time for a season to be in a structured, developmental experience to help them determine their next best ministry step.
There is a great opportunity RIGHT NOW for expanded “Senior Residents.”
This market often allows your resident group to grow with little cost differential, add wisdom and strength to your team, and add considerable value to the process as a whole.
What is that market? Those individuals over 55 years old and who have officially “retired” from the marketplace.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Let’s start with some data. At the beginning of the pandemic season, most felt retirement accounts and jobs would be scarce. Instead, we have seen most retirement balances increase for older Americans and a shortage of workers instead of a shortage of jobs.
Additionally, with the whiplash for some workers choosing between virtual, hybrid or onsite work, the frustrations have risen with their current employment.
Here is a report from Bloomberg:
“About 2.7 million Americans age 55 or older are contemplating retirement years earlier than they’d imagined because of the pandemic, government data show. They’re more likely to be White, a group that typically has a larger amount of accumulated wealth, and many cite robust retirement accounts and Covid-19 fatigue for their early exit, according to interviews with wealth managers and federal surveys.”
As the report states, the impact here is uneven. Higher paid workers in the past are retiring and those that had not accumulated savings will still need to work.
The New York Times has this additional tidbit:
“What can explain this trend during the pandemic? Job losses and business closings could have prompted some older workers to retire earlier than they’d expected, a pattern seen in previous recessions. Another factor: Older workers were more at risk than younger ones from the coronavirus. At the same time, home prices and stock market values rose, putting some owners of such assets in a better position financially to retire.”
And finally on the data front, the Wall Street Journal had this report:
“The survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute provides a snapshot of how Americans feel about their retirement prospects.
Among workers, 72% are somewhat or very confident in their ability to live comfortably in retirement, up from 63% last March and 69% in January 2020. Today’s level is close to the survey’s record of 74% in 1993, three years after the survey began.”
Implications after the ad
Residency and Intern Programs can either be a great help or a miserable headache. Which is yours?
Almost all growing large churches have one of these programs. Is it time to take yours from disorganized and scattered to organized and professional?
In the past several years my colleague Greg Ligon and I have developed tools to help churches refresh, relaunch and start their own residency and intern programs. These programs can provide great leadership development experience AND give great lift to your church’s overall program.
We have a free e-book that illustrates five approaches to these programs.
To request a copy – just email me at email@example.com
We also do a FREE RoadMap call with teams from churches to help you analyze your own situation and provide some next steps you can execute. We would love to chat with you.
Back to our cover story…..
With the pandemic of 2020, there are new batches of mature, solid, qualified leaders leaving the marketplace for one reason or another. Some, like school teachers, have decided that the online environment does not fit their style of teaching. Since they already had the requisite number of years to meet their pension obligations, they have left the system.
Others, perhaps in corporate environments, were offered sweetened early retirement packages to encourage them to step out of the company and into early retirement.
Still, many more boomers have entered full retirement ages of 65 or more and have good retirement savings they are now entitled to over their lifetime.
Most all of the above are in robust health and have excellent skills to contribute to your church.
In the past, many of these were tapped to join the team of a church in a specific role.
The Senior Resident’s idea is one where selected “Seniors” are invited to participate in your normal residency, without the option of being paid or having to pay for the process.
They apply like all other residents but will already have places to live, and other supporting mechanisms allowing them to fully participate as a resident.
In this way, they will receive the good training, grounding in your theological frameworks, as well as practical ministry experience that the other residents receive.
Many will elect to become volunteer staff in the future or perhaps join a church planting team sent out from your church on a “mission mobilizer” basis.
My friend George Bullard calls these friends - “22-44 Mission Mobilizers.” These are people who ultimately give 22 hours a week, 44 weeks a year to the church on a low pay or volunteer basis. They are given a specific role, title, and supervisor and treated just like other staff members.
Your Senior Resident process helps you evaluate and train these team members for no regrets later.
How are you developing this group?
If you need help, we have a special resource ebook that describes a bundle of Residency and Intern Programs and how we help churches develop their roadmap for the future.
To get that resource, just email me directly. Dave.Travis@Generis.com
The Great Things God Has Done Podcast
Speaking of Leadership Development, This week listen to the interview with Michael Fletcher of Manna Church as he tells his leadership journey.
Michael is the author of Empowering Leadership – one of the best books about church leadership development I ever read. You can grab it for less than $5 on kindle. It’s worth 10 times that price.
And finally - for those not registered for our June 2nd call with Andrew Gumbel, Author of Won’t Lose This Dream (summary learnings here and here), get in on this. You will be glad you did.
Email Linda.Stanley@generis.com if you are a Senior Pastor to get the credentials.