A few weeks ago I spoke with Paul Hammond about the rising number of Older People returning to the workforce post retirement. They spoke about the possible causes, the effect it may have on our churches, as well as how we as the church should respond.
You can to listen to the full interview by clicking on the link above, but here are some key points to consider:
More Than Just Money
With the 2008 crash and subsequent crisis in recent memory, it should be no surprise to us that some people are seeking out work because of a worry that history might repeat itself. Many pensioners lost significant portions of their pension when the crash hit, and are still feeling the effects today. In addition, during the pandemic families welcomed home their adult children, and some families had older relatives come to stay with them. This has meant more people under the same roof, all providing for one another in different ways, and this may have resulted in a need to return to work.
While people might be returning to work, they may be working in a role or capacity which is unfamiliar to them. While not universal, often workplaces prize youth and the gifts that younger people bring, without necessarily recognising what some call “the Gift of Years” which older people have been granted. Wisdom, long-sightedness, as well as a wealth of experience are just a handful of potential benefits an older person may bring to the workplace. Just a few years ago, B&Q hired older people in particular for this exact reason. Whilst it took time and effort to train younger staff members to know how to help someone, or to guide them to the right tools or materials for the job, many older people already had this under their belts. If you’re an employer, we encourage you to take this into account, and to value those gifts.
When we undergo significant life changes, it can affect our homes, our health, as well as our walk with God. Whether you’re a pastor, you serve the teas and coffees, or you’re a brand new Christian, take the opportunity to reach out to older people in your church. If you know that someone is returning to the workforce, why not offer meals, or support, as well as asking how you might pray for them.
For more, please do listen to the full interview.
Grace and Peace,
Adsum Try Ravenhill
Church Champion Lead