Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Self-Proclaimed ‘Old Coots’ Offer Life Advice at Farmers Market

The group of retired friends who meet every Saturday morning at a Salt Lake City deli were growing tired of the same conversation each week. Sure, they were solving the world’s problems, but they wanted to share their wisdom beyond their friend group of seven. As a lark, they set up a card table at the nearby Salt Lake City’s farmers market and told people they were dispensing free advice. They even made a large banner: “Old Coots Giving Advice—It’s Probably Bad Advice, But It’s Free.”

To their surprise, people started showing up and sharing their problems. A lot of them. “Where can I find someone to love?” “Have I put in enough time at my new job to take a one-week vacation?” They also field questions about how to keep romance alive. "I always tell people that the first thing you do is put down your phone and start talking,” retiree Richard Klein said.

Each Saturday the “Old Coots” have taken on the issues of about 30 to 40 people who come by seeking their advice. “It’s a way for a person to get an outside opinion from somebody who has nothing to gain,” said member Tony Caputo. “Somebody told us the other day that we're the most popular attraction at the market. We always listen carefully and don't give gratuitous advice.”

“To be truthful, I’m not sure that any of us can claim to have much wisdom,” said 69-year-old John Lesnan “but it sure has been a lot of fun. Maybe all of us coots really do have more to offer than we thought.”

Possible Preaching Angle: Counsel; Elderly; Wisdom - The life experiences and wisdom of the elderly in our churches can be a valuable resource. Job said, “Is not wisdom found among the aged?” (Job 12:12). Churches can be well served by seniors who have spiritual maturity, humility, and a servant’s heart. The young would do well to ask their advice.

Cathy Free, “Self-proclaimed ‘Old Coots’ offer life advice at farmers market. Their slogan: ‘It’s Probably Bad Advice, But It’s Free,” The Washington Post (9-27-18)

Related Sermon Illustrations

God Uses the Young but Saves His Best Work for the Mature

Os Guinness argues that God can use and has used people in their youth, but God also has accomplished some of his best work through people more advanced in life experience:

It is said ...
[Read More]

Old Trees don't Get Taller, They Bulk Up like a Bodybuilder

Old trees may not grow taller every year, but they do keep bulking up—like a human bodybuilder. That's the summary of recent research into the life of trees. An article on NPR ...

[Read More]