Retirement can be a confusing stage of life. So can empty nesting. Many people, in that stage of life have more time for something but are unsure of what to do with that time. We’ve created a program that can allow people in later stages of life to discover their God given purpose and their specific and unique abilities in ministry. Many have had a desire to be more involved in ministry but have been too consumed with careers and family and now, as those things are less prevalent, have the opportunity to discover that potentially forgotten desire. We envision seeing care homes, hospitals, recovery centers, churches and many other community spaces filled with highly capable, highly experienced and freshly inspired seniors sharing the love of Jesus with the loneliest and most broken in society.
The vision of the Vintage Discipleship Program is to equip and empower retirees (55+) for ministry in the community through Northgate Church by providing education, relationships, and opportunities.
The primary purpose of the Vintage Discipleship Program (VDP) is to tap into the wealth of wisdom and knowledge that seniors have to offer on many levels. The Comox Valley has so many places where people are lonely and in need of support and companionship. They need the wisdom, experience and light that this vibrant group of people have to offer. The program’s secondary purpose is to provide opportunities for seniors to continue to grow in their faith. We believe these two purposes mutually enhance each other. Serving the community grows faith and a growing faith reaches out to the community. The VDP will offer education, hands on community time and personal growth. The participants will work closely with a small team as they serve their community. There are certain ministry opportunities that we believe seniors are more uniquely suited to impact than other demographics. Driven by this assumption, and the passion of our director, Jan Alexander, the VDP will focus it’s ministry on the elderly, in care homes and the hospital, and the broken and lonely in recovery homes and addictions centers. By inspiring the faith of young and old within Northgate we believe we are offering a very holistic ministry approach in our city and believe many will come to know Jesus in all walks of life.
While a young body and mind that is able to move at a fast pace can be beneficial for some aspects of ministry, we’ve also identified that some aspects of ministry require more time for which the slower paced, well seasoned life of a senior is highly beneficial. Some things get sweeter with time, and some things require more time. Seniors offer a faith that has had a life time of experience developing and they are able to share it at a pace that fits those they minister to. Here are some areas that are generally enhanced because of the length of life a senior has lived or the pace of life they are now living at:
1) Wisdom- A long life has many lessons. To be a senior, you’ve learned many of them!
2) Stories -Seniors have the opportunity to share of the longevity of the faithfulness of God because they’ve seen it first hand. They also have the ability to slow down long enough to tell the story.
3) Love -For seniors, love is not a concept. It’s the action that was required for the challenges, conflicts, betrayals, and disappointments they’ve faced in life. Their love is deep and therefore, powerful.
4) Patience- Some people, if they are going to recover, or going to find Jesus, require a lot of time, investment and understanding. The pace of the average senior allows them to both have the time and be willing to offer it.
5) Prayer- Some prayers can be done quickly, but sometimes people need time. Seniors are well suited to pray for focused, prolonged periods.
All applicants for the Vintage Discipleship Program must: ·
- Have a healthy and growing relationship with Jesus and an openness to his spirit moving through their life
- Be 55+ with no end age limit
- Be unemployed or seriously underemployed with a flexible schedule
- Need a valid driver’s licence
- Have a criminal record check
- Be willing to learn and grow
- Have a heart to serve those in need
Only 10-12 participants are recommended in order to develop a strong close-knit team.
- Weekly visits to long-term care units and the local hospital for bible reading and companionship
- Bi-weekly visits to both local recovery houses to share skills such as cooking wood work
- Attend a 4 day seniors bible camp in Nanoose Bay in August
- Attend The Global Leadership Summit in Langley in October
- Support Northgate ministries including but not limited to Sunday ministry in Courtenay and Port Alberni
- Seniors stretching classes
- A Christmas mission to be determined by the participants
- Attend our local seniors small group network called Young at Heart
Some of the courses we'll be taking this year include:
- Understanding Ourselves
- personality dimensions
- leadership styles
- Biblical Interpretation
- Emotionally Healthy Leadership
- Pastoral Care
- Foursquare Ministerial Diploma Essentials Courses
It is anticipated that each member of the team will have ·
- Developed community relationships that will facilitate continued opportunities to do God’s work
- Developed many skills that will enhance the lives of the participants as they mentor and care for others while sharing the good news of the gospel
- Developed long-term friendships with people who have the same mission and purpose
- Developed a deeper understanding of God and the opportunity He gives seniors to live the best days of their lives in service to our Jesus
Schedules and Cost
The program starts August 6, 2019 and end in February 2020
The weekday requirements are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-2pm and will also include regular involvement serving Northgate in weekly needs, services and events.
The cost is $1500 and must be paid at time of acceptance of application