I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
1 John 2:13 NKJV
One of the most overlooked resources in some local churches is the faith and prayers of its senior saints. Though this is not usually done consciously, it ends up that way through well-meaning though misguided choices and attitudes. Missions Trips or worship conferences for teens only. Small groups, segregated by age group and senior group activities that are little more than luncheons or entertainment make us feel left out irrelevant and unneeded.
The Apostle John on the other hand sees every age group as not only needed but essential in the success of the church. I love how this duo with Alanna and Percival Glover show the older hymns wonderfully sung by the youngest member of the family. May you find your voice to sing together in harmony with all of God’s family, no matter your age or circumstance!
Being a senior in the church sometimes feels like being a chaperone at a school dance. Everyone smiles and says hello, but they wonder why you are there and don’t know that you can dance too!
Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. Psalm 134:1 KJV
Okay – so this will never make a million likes on YouTube, but for those involved in nursing home ministry, hearing testimonies is a blessing. The once-a-month Saturday crowd at Sunshine is a mixed group with both independent living folks as well as assisted living people joining in one meeting. These folks are some of my liveliest if they are given the chance. We sing a little more than just hymns and the residents love to lead worship, preach, raise offerings and just about anything else you would see in your local church. I hope you will be blessed by our video this week. If you enjoy listening to their testimonies, there is a second one in the works for next week, so stay tuned!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised! Psalm 113:3 ESV
My friends at Life Care Center remind me by their presence, that no matter where we are in life, that we can always praise the Lord. They come in their wheelchairs, though some cannot hear well, some cannot see and few of them ever leave the building anymore. Yet when it is time for our 11 AM Friday service, they come, they sing, and take time to praise God!! Just as today’s verse reminds us: It doesn’t matter what time it is in our lives. It is always time to praise the Lord! I hope you will enjoy this simple rendition of the old classic chorus, “Praise Him When the Sun Goes Down!” Have a blessed week everyone. Let’s all try to keep up with my friends at Life Care and tell our hearts it is always time to praise God.
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.
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!