Nursing home ministry has such room for individual expression! There are as many unique styles of ministry as there are unique abilities and personalities, all sharing the love of Jesus.
There is the person with the gift of teaching who prepares a detailed message each week – an inspiring Bible study for the residents. He is able to field questions from the residents and enter into engaging discussions based on his Bible knowledge
There is the person who loves to visit and engage residents in one-on-one conversations about their memories of family, career, faith, hobbies, and to talk about what’s on their mind in this stage of life. These memories often lead to laughter, sometimes tears, and often prayers of gratitude.
There is the singer who leads a lively sing along of favorite hymns, old love songs, popular favorites from the 40s, 50s and beyond. She knows the power of music to bring joy, fond memories, a sense of community and how the hymns bring her friends closer to Jesus.
There is the guitarist or pianist (or violinist, flutist, etc) who puts together a little program and entertains a group of residents every month.
There is the extrovert who loves to be in front of a group, tells jokes, sings a cappella, and hugs everyone, residents, aides, and kitchen staff. She makes everyone in the care home community feel loved.
There is the introvert who doesn’t like to talk in front of a group, but comes every week and sits next to the same resident during the service, and becomes close friends with them. Every week they look for each other and greet each other with a hug and a kiss and sit together holding hands and sharing a songbook. And their deepening friendship is a joy to both of them!
There is the dog owner who brings her cute and cuddly pet in every week to bring smiles to the residents’ faces. They so appreciate that someone recognizes the joy a friendly animal can provide.
There is the crafter who thinks up a different craft every month and brings in all the supplies for the residents to make something pretty for their rooms.
There is the recently retired man who brings card games in on Saturday evenings, gathers a half-dozen residents around to keep each other company on a lonely weekend.
There is the volunteer who not only leads her own services twice a week, but goes in on her “off days” to visit one on one with those residents she knows need a friend to talk to.
It’s a beautiful tapestry woven of different colors of threads, this blessing that we call nursing home ministry. Our Father, the creative Artist Supreme, delights in our lovely and individual expression of His gifts and talents to each of us. And all heaven rejoices when our friends in these homes open their hearts in sincere surrender to Jesus, His greatest gift.
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