Falling on Impaired Ears

Falling on Impaired Ears

Hearing well is fundamental to understanding and communication. When this particular sense is impaired we find ways to compensate by amplifying, gesturing or notating. Humans are driven to convey a message.

For decades, Richard and I have evangelistically expressed our core conviction that long life is a gift from God, not to be wasted, but to be re-invested.  We’ve written a book (another one in progress), as well as articles, curriculum, blogs, and emails. We’ve spoken in groups both large and small, talked on the radio, and preached from the pulpit. We’ve amplified, gestured and notated.  We yearn for older adults to be respected and not marginalized. We want Boomers to live out their God-given talents, skills and passions and reach out to heal a hurting world. As our ministry mission states, we seek to unleash the power of age in lives, churches and communities. The message seems to fall on deaf ears. Few want to acknowledge they are aging; fewer still aspire to embrace the journey for all of its worth.

One indicator of a generation being “hearing impaired” is this month’s announcement that More Living will no longer be published. The state-of-the art magazine produced by Lifeway Resources was targeted to Christian Boomers. Filled with helpful articles that inspired personal spiritual growth, it was contemporary, appealing and practical. But its message fell on impaired ears and failed due to “lack of readership.” I’m particularly sad because I had the privilege to have several articles published in this periodical.

With disturbing regularity, we hear of churches eliminating their older adult ministries. Few denominations see them as strategic. Even this week I learned that our local Gospel Mission has discontinued specific outreach to seniors. In light of the demographics and trends that indicate 50% of our population will be over the age of 50 by the end of this decade, it seems illogical to eradicate ministry with this segment of the population.

I came close to giving up this week. Feeling it was futile to try communicating to impaired (or at least stubborn) ears, I was ready to throw in the towel. But God has called me to convey a message to this generation. So, I guess I’ll gesture, write more – and speak a little louder.

 Stay tuned. You haven’t heard the last from us.

written by Leona Bergstrom, Director, Re-Ignite 

Please visit our websites at www.Re-Ignite.net or www.chonline.org to learn about  ChurchHealth, Re-Ignite and Lifetime Ministries.

By |2017-05-08T07:32:08+00:00October 24th, 2013|News, Re-Ignite the Church, Re-Ignite the World, Re-Ignite Your Life|5 Comments

About the Author:

Leona Bergstrom is a writer, speaker and consultant. She currently directs the ministry of Re-Ignite, a division of ChurchHealth. Passionate about inspiring her Boomer peers, Leona has written and developed Re-Ignite curriculum, co-authored Third Calling: What are you doing the rest of your life?, manages a weekly blog, and contributes articles to magazines and newsletters. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Richard.


  1. Terri Brooks October 24, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I was very disappointed to receive the news that More Magazine was no longer going to be published. I am a boomer who did read the magazine, and thoroughly enjoyed the articles and insights. I had even (just) begun to use some of the ideas presented in the magazine to write articles for our church newsletter – to hopefully inspire boomers in my church to get more involved and “make a difference”. We do have two active senior ministries in my church, but I still get somewhat discouraged by the number of boomers and retires who are missing out on the blessing of “embracing the journey” and using their gifts to impact God’s Kingdom.

    • leona October 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you for your response. Keep plugging away at your ministry! God will bless. Let us know how we can encourage you.

  2. Charles McKinney October 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Leona, that articale was heard loud and clear. Keep up your good work of highlighting the significance of the need to minister to booomers and builders. I think the time has come and is now for no longer waiting or depending on others to explode the movement you have started forward. If it is going to be it is up to God and the passion of our generation to do it. I join hands with you in sayning charge, gather the boomers for one more change to the world. Created and sustained by us.


    • leona October 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks for your encouragement – and for all you do in this ministry!

  3. Kathryn Johnson October 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    This weekend was an exercise in dealing with how old I really am. A silver-haired man presided over our denomination’s annual conference whom I remember well as a brown-haired college student, presiding over our denomination’s youth fellowship a brief 3 decades ago. I think the problem is that too many of us boomers still have brown hair in our perceptions of ourselves (it helps when we can get it out of a bottle, too). We’re shocked when we are marginalized at work or at church because we can’t yet see ourselves as old. I’ve been over 55 for over a year, yet I’ve only asked for the senior discount once. We in Western culture can’t manage to see the positives in aging, so we don’t want to admit that we are there. So, keep shouting at us, Leona. Eventually we’ll get it.

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