I had the opportunity to interview my friend Dr. Royce C. Smith, who is a Pastor of Senior Adults at CBC Church in San Antonio, for Careers in Aging Week! He is passionate about helping senior adults find ways to get involved in the church, and is still connecting and checking in on them while also taking social distancing measures!

What do you do as a Pastor of Senior Adults?

I lead 3,500 Baby Boomers (ages 57-75) for our church. In this role, my ministry has 6 major pieces: 1) I recruit develop servant leaders who will either shepherd others in small groups or start new service or social ministries; 2)  I oversee the small group discipleship leaders; 3) I oversee our Soul Care leaders who provide a personal touch for things like birthdays, funerals, home repairs for widows, hospital visitation, prayer, and assimilation; 4) I oversee our Service Teams that volunteer at over 15 San Antonio area Christian non-profits like Meals on Wheels, Children’s Hunger Fund, etc.; 5) I organize Socials and Trips to get our population engaged and moving.  These can be local trips, outdoor hikes, golfing, lunches, and two week-long trips (Spring & Fall) each year; and 6) I provide information to improve their Smarts, with articles about information that is important to Senior Adults such as health trends, eating, exercise, avoiding online scams, keeping your identification current and safe, etc.

What is your favorite part of working with older adults?

My favorite part of working with Senior Adults is hearing their life stories.  We often see older adults and just assume they’ve always been old.  But these people have lived amazing lives!  They are so normal and real.  They have the same struggles and problems we all do.  They find joy in the same things we all do.  They just want to be seen, heard, and valued. Once I get to know them, I try to encourage them toward finishing their life by investing the best of all they are into some type of volunteer service that lets them maximize their heart for God and people in an area they are passionate about.  Once they find that place, they are unstoppable!