The impact of aging upon the attitudes older church members have about their congregations

Full Title
The impact of aging upon the attitudes older church members have about their congregations
Leon W White
This study reports findings based upon reading, Part I, and research, Part II, which describe how the experiences of aging can affect the attitudes older church members have about their congregations.

The opening chapter of Part I examines how the theology, leadership style, and training of clergy can influence attitudes of the elderly. This is followed by an examination of personal and social forces capable of affecting how older persons feel about life and themselves as well as their congregations. Also discussed is the discovery and the stewardship of those special gifts God gives the Christian in later life.

Part II describes a research project conducted among 451 active church members fifty-five years of age or older. Using a 103-item questionnaire distributed among members willing to participate from a number of churches, the study sought to determine, define, and measure the religiosity of these members using factor analysis. The items loaded into five factors named Orthodoxy, Personal Faith, Treatment, Satisfaction with Life, and Dissatisfaction with Life. By comparison and correlation of these factors, and of items within and between the factors, it was found that this population of older church members has a positive attitude about life and more so about their congregations. The attitudes of men and women were similar regarding life, but regarding their congregations women felt more positive. Men want to feel more useful to their congregations. Retirement in the past year appears to have a more negative influence upon attitudes than any other loss mentioned.
Degree Granting Institution
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
Elton M Eenigenburg
Number of Pages
Copyright Statement
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