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Episode Info: Churches often put a lot of emphasis on nurturing families, children, and those at the start of their faith journey. But what about others? In this episode we speak with Michelle Van Loon about how churches can better help people in midlife continue to grow in faith as they navigate their unique life challenges. Transcript Announcer: Leading Ideas Talks is brought to you by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Subscribe free to our weekly newsletter, Leading Ideas, at churchleadership.com/leadingideas. Leading Ideas Talks is also brought to you by Changes Congregations Face. This adult leadership study curriculum from the Lewis Center is an ideal conversation starter for your small groups, especially for congregations evaluating their own ministries or engaging in planning for the future. Changes Congregations Face is only $3.99 at churchleadership.com/studies. Churches often put a lot of emphasis on nurturing families, children, and those at the start of their faith journey. But what about others? In this episode we speak with Michelle Van Loon about how churches can better help people in midlife continue to grow in faith as they navigate their unique life challenges. Ann Michel: I’m Ann Michel, associate director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and I’m host of this episode of Leading Ideas Talks. I’m visiting today with Michelle Van Loon who’s the author of a new book entitled Becoming Sage. And it addresses spirituality and discipleship in midlife. Michelle is a prolific author who’s authored several other books on subjects related to personal spirituality and spiritual formation. She’s a blogger and a women’s ministry leader. And Michelle, we’re just so excited that you’re taking time to talk with us today on this important subject of discipling people in midlife. So welcome, Michelle.  Michelle Van Loon: I’m super honored to be with you guys. Thanks for having me.  Ann Michel: Just to start our conversation so our readers can understand the parameters of the discussion, I want to first ask, how do you define midlife?  Michelle Van Loon: Yeah, that’s a good one! It depends who’s doing the measuring and who’s doing the asking, in some ways. Statisticians put the brackets around particular age groups. It can be 40 to 65. Sometimes there’s a little wiggle room on either side of those margins. But there are people that find themselves kind of pushed into the business of midlife earlier than that, particularly if there’s a lot of losses in their life — loss of parents that are dying or other big life transitions can kind of hasten people in. And some people, you know, kind of meander into the developmental tasks of midlife when they are older than that.  Ann Michel: I appreciate you framing it that way. Because I did notice in the book you never talk in terms of numerical ages, that you tend to focus more on the experiences — life tra...
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