The New Inactives - Seniors

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by mom3 » 18 Jun 2018, 15:23

I don't serve in leadership per se, but I am close enough that conversations from our local top leadership trickle into my corner.

It appears that Senior couples/members who have raised family are enjoying hiatus' from local church. The guise comes in many forms but it causes a crimp in the watering hose. Some examples are,

* Out of town on extended trips. Sometimes to visit family. Other's not.
* Still in town but become Sunday or Sacrament Meeting only members
* Accept only Sunday callings.
* Accept any calling, but that's as far as it goes.


It's growing rapid fast over here on the left coast. I chuckle because we are making these huge pushes for youth, YA, RMs. While we are mining the front lines, the back lines are walking away.

Is it happening in your area?
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

User avatar
LookingHard
Posts: 2950
Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by LookingHard » 18 Jun 2018, 15:52

My ward is way too young. We have 2 folks in the 80's and are unable to take callings. Just getting to church with help is a big deal.

One couple is retired and they already did a year long mission a few years ago - and one of them is getting a few bricks shy already.

So I wouldn't be able to tell in my ward.

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by Roy » 18 Jun 2018, 16:16

I have heard that a number of the older ladies will refuse calling in primary because they have already done their "time".

In some ways church participation can be like a job. We should not be surprised when people choose to retire. :lol:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16851
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Jun 2018, 16:23

It is not widespread here - except the extensive travel to see kids and grandkids.

In the past, people tended to stay near extended family. Families are much more spread out now, but people with money still want to see their family regularly. It is so senseless to fight it that even older couple missionaries are allowed to leave their mission for family events. Well off old folks gonna family no matter what.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by dande48 » 18 Jun 2018, 16:23

mom3 wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 15:23
It appears that Senior couples/members who have raised family are enjoying hiatus' from local church.
...But then, who will be our leaders?

I think there are many members of the Church from all demographics going inactive. I always supposed those who had been committed to the gospel their whole lives, would remain active according to their health. Or at least more likely to remain active.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by Roy » 18 Jun 2018, 16:36

dande48 wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 16:23
I think there are many members of the Church from all demographics going inactive. I always supposed those who had been committed to the gospel their whole lives, would remain active according to their health. Or at least more likely to remain active.
Dad worked as a merchant marine and was away from home for long periods of time. Mom took us to church dutifully every Sunday.

I think that once they became empty nesters the sense of urgency was lost. It had been so long since church had met their personal needs (other than to help raise the children).

That is not to say that they no longer believe. They were born LDS and will die LDS. They received all the required ordinances and right now are just coasting towards the finish line.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by mom3 » 18 Jun 2018, 19:40

It makes sense to me on many levels. I just hadn't thought about it in a large scale way. We have one ward (I am sure it will be split soon) that is full of long timers. Nicest people, but they have done their bit. Even the Bishop takes quite a few weeks off. Can't blame them. Even from a TBM perspective, we really only do live once. If your passel of kids are having baptisms, births, graduations, moves, birthdays and whatnot I would be on the road to those things in a heart beat. You can warm a bench in any old chapel.

Travel is much more accessible in this era than it has been before why not take advantage. Especially in the off season. No kids or school options to bind you down. A mission is not a tour. Just sayin'.

Retiree's. I so don't blame them either. Sacrament is the only ordinance. If ordinances are still important, feel free drop by. Shake a few hands. Get on home. You've filled your dance card with years of moving people, cleaning their homes, attending scout and girls camp, and made casseroles for more funerals than you can count.

I am just curious as it grows, which it will, how will the Top Team step in.

President Oaks and his wife have been making the rounds to YA stakes, "answering random (selected before we got here) questions." The main point is begging the YA's not to marry out the church. I have this on absolute authority, my daughter attended one a few weeks ago in her area. A couple weeks later a former roommate shared a near verbatim experience pitched to another YA group by the same team.

It's all on the shoulders of those dang middle aged families. Or maybe the Top Team will seek out the members outside of the Good Ol USofA.

Time will tell.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Kipper
Posts: 292
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by Kipper » 19 Jun 2018, 13:16

I would like to find a small inexpensive home in central Utah and live there part of the year. I would keep my house in my moderate climate and live there the rest of the time. My guess is that would be frowned upon.

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4520
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by nibbler » 19 Jun 2018, 13:29

Church can make for a grueling experience. Of all people I'd imagine that seniors are burnt out.

It's one thing to wear yourself out in the service of others but church demands often feel like work we do because we're following the formula or something we do out of tradition; this is the church program, gotta do the church program, and it makes for unfulfilling service.

More middle aged families would take extended breaks, go visit buddies in Florida for two straight months or whatever, but they don't have the financial freedom to do so, they're tethered to their job, which tethers them to home, which tethers them to a calling they may not enjoy. If you don't enjoy your calling church becomes an absolute chore. Something that eats your life force rather than recharging it.

Maybe when it comes to retirement church is like an extra long snow day. You know what I mean, a snow day closes church, everyone in the family is happy because no one really wanted to go to church anyway and snow becomes the, "Hey, I'd like to go to church but... the snow. :D " and everyone enjoys a guilt free Sunday off.

Hey, I'd like to attend church but I'm in Florida for two months. Have fun with the hamster wheel.
The wheel will still be here when you get back.
I just remembered, we're going to be in Florida visiting buddies for six months.

Seniors. Living the dream.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

User avatar
Sheldon
Posts: 455
Joined: 14 Aug 2013, 13:44

Re: The New Inactives - Seniors

Post by Sheldon » 22 Jun 2018, 13:44

There is a couple in our ward that splits time between here (California Coast) in the winter and Logan Utah in the summer. Six month in each place. So they get no real heavy duty jobs. What's the church to do, tell them they can't do that?

The large group of baby boomers (I'm one) are reaching retirement age. So the numbers of 54 to 70 years old people is at an all-time high, and any inactivity by this cohort will be exaggerated by the high numbers, but as a percentage I don’t think there is any more of a problems with the boomers than any other group.

Post Reply