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Mobilizing seniors for evangelism focus of Branson, Mo., conference


ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–An exploding senior adult population requires a similar increase in efforts to reach them with the gospel, according to the North American Mission Board’s family evangelism unit. As a step toward that end, the agency is inviting seniors to its first evangelism conference specifically designed for individuals age 60 and older.

The “GO Hand ‘n Hand” conference — named for a new strategy designed to help senior adults spearhead evangelism efforts in the local church — will be held April 30-May 2 at the Mel Tillis theater and First Baptist Church in Branson, Mo.

Richard Leach, manager of NAMB’s family evangelism unit, noted that while physical health care issues are at the forefront as the nation’s population of seniors explodes in the 21st century, of far more importance is their spiritual health.

“When was the last time you heard someone speak about this growing segment of our population and the Great Commission in the same sentence?” Leach asked. “The personal impact of the wave of senior adults that is about to roll in upon our nation cannot be ignored.”

Through the “GO (God/Others) Hand ‘n Hand” strategy, seniors will be asked “to put your hand in God’s hand as you put your hand in the hand of others,” Leach said. The presentation — developed by a task force led by Howard Ramsey, retired director of personal evangelism of the former Home Mission Board (now NAMB) — is a senior adult adaptation on The NET gospel presentation.

“One of the highlights of the conference will be a way for seniors to become volunteer chaplains to areas where seniors are present in large numbers,” Leach added. “We are suggesting ways they can minister to needs and share the gospel at the same time.”

Leaders for the primary training sessions include evangelist Junior Hill, worship leader Bob Woolley and John Yarbrough, NAMB’s vice president for evangelization.

Workshops also will be offered on such topics as: “What’s Happening with Senior Adults,” “Seniors Sharing the Gospel,” “Leader Training on Evangelism,” “How to Deal with Grief,” “Long-Term Care from the Standpoint of the Caregiver,” and “How to Start or Jump-Start a Senior Adult Evangelism Ministry.”

The conference begins at 7 p.m. April 30 and ends at noon May 2. A special ticket package also may be purchased by individuals who want to see some of the Branson shows. Participants are encouraged to bring one non-Christian senior adult with every Christian who attends.

Registration for the conference is $25 per person for groups of two or more, or $30 for individuals. Arrangements have been made at local hotels for special conference rates.

Complete registration is available by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or calling (770) 410-6327. Information and registration instructions are also available at www.namb.net/family. Click on the senior adult page.
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(BP) logo posted in the BP Photo Library at https://www.bpnews.net. Logo title: GO HAND ‘N HAND CONFERENCE.

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  • James Dotson