When the big Four-Oh comes around you’ll be expected to throw a big party and to grin at all the jokes about it being “all downhill” from here, but this stage represents an opportunity to polish all of your great qualities and accept all your challenges.
We adopt this Life Stage model for 7 Purposes:
1. SPIRITUAL GROWTH: Recognizing that people are in different stages of life, it is our hope to empower people to grow spiritually by providing “stage appropriate” formation experiences, groups, curriculum and serving opportunities.
2. ORGANIZATION: By organizing both our ministry programming and our staff to address specific “life stages” it permits us to more quickly identify programming gaps, needs and resources. Like specialists in large urban hospitals, it is our hope that staff and servants in each “life stage” will become specialists in that stage and be able to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of persons moving through that stage.
3. CONGREGATIONAL CARE: In a congregation as large as Saint Paul’s, the possibility that someone in need will be overlooked or fall between the cracks is greatly increased UNLESS we are intentionally organized to ensure appropriate care.
4. STAFF SUPPORT: Organizing the congregation into life stages permits each member to identify staff specifically designated to respond to their needs, hurts and problems. Serving, sharing, study and support groups will be able to readily identify which staff persons are assigned to provide support, thus – decreasing frustration, confusion and the time spent navigating administrative systems.
5. INTERGENERATIONAL FELLOWSHIP: Organizing the congregation intentionally into life stages creates the possibility of creating intergenerational fellowship activities where persons in one life stage can benefit from the experiences and energy of persons in another life stage.
6. SPECIALIZED PROGRAMMING: By focusing our staff and servants, it is our hope that having identified specific needs, hurts and problems, we will then be able to develop specialized programming to address them in each life stage.
7. INTENTIONALITY: This concept is a primary driver for the entire model – it is our hope that rather than just doing ministry “hopefully” or “coincidentally” that God will empower us to move intentionally and effectively towards holistic ministry to each person in each stage of their lives.