Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The blessings of nursing home ministry

Steve Burchett is a friend I met at the Founders Conference in Oklahoma in 2007. Then I amazingly ran into him again at Together for the Gospel in Kentucky in 2008. He has his own blog and is part of a great ministry called "Christian Communicators Worldwide," which is led by Jim Eliff.

Steve recently wrote an article on "Ten Reasons Why Nursing Homes are Great Places to Minister." Ministering in nursing homes can be difficult work, but it's a huge encouragement to ailing believers as well as an important final witness to the unsaved. It's easy for churches to overlook the homebound and infirm, yet Matthew 25:40 reminds us that when we serve even the least of Christ's brothers or sisters, we are serving Him.

Here's the list Steve came up with:

1. Nursing homes provide an avenue to obey God, Who tells us to serve the downcast and rejected.

2. Nursing homes offer numerous opportunities for evangelism.

3. Nursing home residents will increase your trust in a sovereign God.

4. Nursing homes make available a place of real and life-impacting ministry for young men contemplating or heading into the ministry.

5. Nursing homes present a way to teach children to love their neighbor.

6. Nursing homes remind us that sickness and death are coming.

7. Nursing homes put you in the presence of older saints who are persevering in the Lord.

8. Nursing homes put you in the presence of people who have hardened their hearts, rejected Christ, and may never again have a coherent thought.

9. Nursing homes open doors to new relationships with those related to or associated with the residents.

10. Nursing homes provide a ministry environment where what really matters takes priority.
When's the last time you visited someone in the hospital or nursing home? I admit, the sights, sounds, and smells are not always pleasant, but it's a great opportunity to be a "Good Samaritan" and show the love of Christ to those who are suffering.

A nursing home ministry is something that a church can offically sponsor, or something that individual families can do by themselves on a weekly, monthly, or occasional basis. One thing's for sure - nursing home residents always love visitors!

1 comment:

Steve Burchett said...

Dear Stephen:

This post is a great encouragement to me, that you would commend something I wrote. Thank you, brother. I was just at the local nursing home this morning and was overwhelmed with the ministry opportunities presented. One lady who really struggles to see was overjoyed when I offered to read her Scripture. She seemed to really ponder every word! It was just beautiful.

Are you attending any conferences next year? Perhaps we'll connect again and chat over a cup of coffee.

Warmly in Christ,