How Can I Get Started in Nursing Home Ministry?

Despite having written many articles and creating several videos over the years about how to begin nursing home ministry, I was recently asked this question by someone who has volunteered their time and talents to help our outreach. That got me to thinking that it is a good idea to refresh all of our memories on the basics of what it means to be a volunteer at a long-term care facility. So – let’s start at the beginning.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Before beginning any type of service, no matter how noble or needed we must be sure that this is where God has called us. Long Term Care ministry is no different. While everyone is welcome to come and sing Christmas carols or hand out flowers on Mother’s Day, it will take more than good intentions to get through a year of weekly visits. God knows that I often pray for more helpers, but I also know that only God’s grace and anointing can equip and empower that person to do so effectively. The love for serving people in long-term-care, is born in the heart of God. We are simply His messengers, privileged to carry His message of the hope and salvation we have in Christ.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

So, if your short-term opportunities to visit a nursing home have whetted your appetite and you would like to do more, begin by praying. But if you have prayed and still feel unsure, why not begin by knocking on some doors? There is no better way to test the water than to plunge into God’s service than by asking, seeking and knocking. I suggest that the first place you should knock is on the door of the activities director at the facility you wish to volunteer at. You see, becoming a volunteer is more than just deciding to show up and do something. Beginning an outreach in a large facility is more like applying for a visa to a foreign country. There are some procedures, background checks and even medical questions to answer. Your activity director is like the immigration service that determines if you will be allowed into the facility (Unless you are visiting a family member or friend). There is a lot of detail involved in this part of the process, but don’t get discouraged. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, so the ministry that God has called you to will require patience and preparation.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Patience and preparation, no matter the effort or the time involved will be worth it, when you begin to pour out God’s love and hope to others. If you are listening, God will give you the right words. If you are watching, He will guide your steps.

So let’s end our session today with simplicity and nothing is simpler than Jesus Loves me this I know. This video is from a recent visit to a facility near our home along with our granddaughter. I pray that you will be encouraged and inspired to launch out and become the one who tells someone in long term care that Jesus loves and remembers them, because the Bible tells us all so!

Author: pastorpete51

My wife and I serve as members of a worship team at a multicultural church. Our members are from Brazil, Nepal and the U.S.. Because of the many languages and cultures in our local body we face unique challenges, such as how many songs will we do in English today? What new songs can we use in either language that are simple enough for the people to sing. The songs, the devotions and insights here are a small portion of some of the ways God is leading us as we push towards the goal. I pray that these will be both a blessing and an encouragement for those of you who may pass by Praise 2 Worship.

4 thoughts on “How Can I Get Started in Nursing Home Ministry?”

  1. Reblogged this on praise2worshipdotnet and commented:

    I hate being repetitive in my posts on nursing home ministry, but I keep getting asked these same questions. So, this week I thought an updated post on the subject was in order. But as a proud Poppy, I also hope you all like our granddaughter in this week’s video!


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