For seniors, retirement can be a time to reevaluate, reflect and reinvent. Choosing the right group Bible study can help seniors take stock of where they have been, where they are and where they are going in life. Use Bible-study lessons to reteach familiar truths in new and appealing ways to seniors looking for more as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
Revisit the heroes of the faith as they dealt with life challenges and adversities to strengthen your Bible-study group’s faith during times of crisis. Life’s autumn years can be filled with health struggles, financial struggles and faith-testing issues on an almost-daily basis. Revisiting the story of Job, who lost everything he had ever worked for and still remained faithful; Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery; and the Apostle Paul, who ended up in prison for his faith, can provide seniors with the right perspective when their faith is challenged.
Coping with Life’s Changes
Topical Bible studies that deal with life’s changes can be encouraging to seniors at this stage of their journey. Choosing studies based on how to cope during times of change can provide seniors with a road map when it comes to retirement, the empty nest, becoming grandparents, losing a loved one and saying “good-bye” to a spouse. Using scripture studies based in both the Old Testament and New Testament offers a well-rounded perspective and a variety of examples of how people used their faith to deal with the inevitability of change. For example, the “For everything there is a season” passage found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, paired with the New Testament passage, I John 5:1-21, provides balance between physical change and spiritual change.
Being reminded of the character of God, through appropriate Bible-study lessons, can help seniors acquire a new and vibrant faith. Financial struggles, dealing with adult children and worry about the future can often challenge even a lifelong faith. Rediscovering who God is through Bible stories about those who had their faith challenged can be an inspiration to seniors at this stage of life. Choose lessons about the disciples and their challenges to faith after the death of Christ, as well as Old Testament lessons about the Children of Israel and their 40-year journey through the desert as examples of faith that was tested and rewarded.
Seniors on a Mission
Still-healthy retirees have more time to serve others than ever before. Since service is central to a life of faith, choose senior Bible studies that focus on the importance of serving and having a mission. The missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul encourage seniors to be open to God's leading when it comes to what they can accomplish in retirement. Paul and Barnabas began their ministry to only their Jewish friends and neighbors, but in Acts 13 and 14, Paul refocused his ministry to the gentiles, in spite of great criticism from fellow believers. Thanks to Paul's boldness, the gentiles were accepted as members of God's family, without having to submit to Jewish tradition. The story of Abraham reminds seniors that a person is never too old to do great things in the name of faith and service if she is open to the possibilities. In Genesis 12:1-5, at the age of 75, Abraham obeyed God and left his home for a new land that God would show him. In Genesis 17:1-22, God makes His covenant with Abraham, who is now 100 years old. God promises to make a great nation for Abraham through the son, Isaac, that he and Sarah would soon have.
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