Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Stop Worrying About Offending Senior Members of Your Church

Stop Worrying About Offending Senior Members of Your Church

senior members

Right now, the senior members of your church – the oldest donors or church members you have – (people in their 80’s for instance) are part of the rock and roll generation. These guys were raised listening to Led Zeppelin, James Brown, and the Stones.

One of the most frequent (and frustrating) cycles that’s happened to our team over the years is this: A church, ministry, or nonprofit asks us to come in to help them update their brand, reposition in the marketplace, or help share their message in a more contemporary way. Fine. But at a point, some of them get really nervous and start pushing back, and it usually sounds like this:

“Phil, we can’t become too contemporary in how we present our message because we’re afraid we’ll upset our older donors or church members. If we update our website, design a really creative logo, those older folks – who are our major donors or most supportive church members – won’t like it and will push back.”

Then they try to backpedal, soften the work, or make it less relevant.

Let me put this argument to rest:  Do you really think your new logo will freak them out?

As I write this, Chubby Checker is 79, Mick Jagger is 77, and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith is 72. And that’s not to mention the legends who have passed: Elvis would be 86 today, Little Richard 89, and Fats Domino 93.

Trust me – the oldest folks in your congregation or donor database were cool before you were born, so give them a break. Trust them. They know what contemporary means and they know what it means to be relevant.

And for the record – they want to reach their children and grandchildren with your message – even if they’re not personally crazy about the presentation.

Are a few grumpy? Absolutely. But those folks are in every age group.

Stop worrying about the seniors. Unleash your creativity and let’s make an impact.

 

This article about senior members originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."