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RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Brokenone,

Very good questions!

Quote:
1 – Who do you contact at the nursing home to get permission to meet with the people? And do you find that they are generally open to having Christian groups come in?



Typically you will need to contact the Activities Director. Nursing Homes are always looking for volunteers. If you want to have services then arrange that. If you want to do a bible study, you can arrange that. If you want to talk to the people as a sort of one on one listener, etc. you can do that also.

Quote:
2 – Do they put any type of limitations on what you can do? For instance, are you allowed to pray with the people, go room to room, and things like that? Or are you limited to the people who come to the meeting room?



Typically there are lots of people in a nursing home willing to talk to you. Because most get very few visitors, many residents take quickly to people that take an interest in their life. It has been a long time since many of them really felt loved. Just being an expression of the love of Christ can be a major influence.

Quote:
3 – What is the ideal length of time for a meeting in a nursing home, taking into account the physical and mental limitations of the residents?



That depends. If you ask a well person they will typically tell you the residents can't handle much, but really that is more [i]their[/i] preference. The residents don't usually get a lot of activity in their life so you are usually ready to go home before they are. ;-) That is, unless you arrive after 6:30 PM or so.

Quote:
4 – When you say participation – do you mean participation from the others who go with you to minister? Or do you mean participation from the residents?



The residents and the people that might come. I believe strongly in body ministry. I believe that God may want to use a resident to share something that will edify the people. I encourage them to spend time with the LORD through the week and come prepared to share anything that the Lord may want them to share. A prayer or a testimony or a song. A scripture or a short exhortation. Some have taken it upon themselves to open the meeting by praying the Lord's prayer. Others may share things that don't necessarily contribute, but they don't hinder either. I believe we honor God by allowing folk to share- no matter what level they are on mentally or in terms of spiritual maturity.

Quote:
5 – In what ways do the staff help with the people?



Staff can be a great help or a great hindrance. Some staff are helpful to bring the residents out and encourage participation. Others would prefer to get the residents to bed so they can relax. Just being honest here. Some staff will help to great lengths and others will test your faith and resolve. Remember that you are on a mission for the Lord and God will give the grace to endure anything that happens. Typically though the owners and Directors want as much activities as they can provide so the staff has to tow that line. It's when the High Up's are out of the building that a staff member may act out, but this is rare.

Quote:
6 – What part of your meetings does it seem that the residents enjoy most?



They love to sing usually. Some also love to hear the Gospel! many have not been in a service where Christ was glorified for a very long time. They are discouraged. Many wonder how they could serve God for 50- 70 years and then be abandoned in a nursing home. Many take it very personally and need an encouraging word of God's grace. They need the love of God and an encouraging word to keep the faith. They love to sing the older popular hymns though (Old Rugged Cross, etc.) and that encourages them.

Quote:
What advice would you have for someone who is interested in getting involved in this type of ministry?



Understand that the ministry you are about to take hold of is [i]pure religion[/i]. I believe the reason for this is because their is no earthly glory in it. There will be no awards and you probably won't get your own radio or TV program. You will likely never be popular and almost none will encourage you or come alongside to help. You will walk alone and see many come along that will help for a few weeks and then leave off.

You will look into the eyes of many that have hours, days, weeks and months to live. I have attended the funeral of several residents already this year. You will be the last person that many have spoken to this side of eternity and the last person to pray for many people. You will be the last opportunity that many will have to respond to Christ before the leave this life for Heaven or Hell.

You will hold the hands of those in the throws of death needing a bold word of faith and hope as they take hold of eternity. You will encourage those who are tempted to furl the sails in the closing hours of this life and proclaim, "Hold on! The end is in sight. Finish the course that you started with God!"

And when you walk outside to your car [i]alone[/i] and you ponder the experiences of the evening you will realize why Christ has called you. Hell will fight you. You foes may even be those of your own household. But understand the gravity of your ministry. You are standing betwixt dying men and women and eternal damnation or eternal life. You will see the saints suffer and God will give you words of encouragement or prayers for healing.

There will be few 'amen's' when you minister. You may even have to minister through a screaming resident or a tired and sleepy group. But press on and know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. It is truly an awesome calling. You are moving into the path of souls headed into eternity...

[color=000066]For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6) [/color]


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/22 21:43Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

It has been good to see these recent responses. As it is the goal of this site for individuals and then in turn the church, to experience revival, once our period of personal revival is full, I do believe ministry will be the God initiated result of that revival.

Knowing that many who visit this site have been revived, I thought it would be interesting to hear the variety of ministry forms that God has lead people into. I can see God in each of the ones you have posted. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

I saw something in one that I had never thought of. It is at the heart of why I wanted to start this thread. That we could all learn from others by what God is doing through others.



Quote:

RobertW wrote:
There are ministers of the Gospel that have been faithful for decades and are now in need. Many Sunday School teachers and other types of ministers are suffering.

Should God lay such a thing on your heart and you would have any others questions I'll try to answer them.



As bad as I hate to admit it, I have always viewed nursing homes as a place to care for people who were on their way out and never really thought much about the individuals who were there. But when I read the quote above, it put it all in a different perspective. Thanks RobertW.

I have not yet read your reply to BrokenOne's questions, but again, exactly what I hoped would happen in this thread. Thanks to both of you.

To 'jiyouk', I enjoyed reading all you had to say and could relate to a lot of it. If it would interest you, I would like to meet you on a different thread about one of the main points in your post; the struggle and how to get past it. In 'Articles and Sermons' there is a thread called 'The New Birth - T Austin Sparks'. It is very much about what you have expressed. I will be looking for you there. It might be a couple of pages deep.

Thanks again to all.

Mike


_________________
Mike Jones

 2008/12/23 8:48Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
But when I read the quote above, it put it all in a different perspective.



I want to say to qualify something I said in the last post about 'pure religion'. I am not saying that other expressions of our faith are somehow less. I have functioned in several different ministries. But I want to draw attention to James words:

[color=000066]Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)[/color]

There is great affliction among the elderly. There are people that have looked on as their husbands and wives have passed on and often times several children. They are living with many memories and griefs.

Add to that the physical problems of bodies wracked with pain or minds that come and go. The sense of abandonment and the uprooting of ones life from their home outside. Many residents rarely see their family. For most Christians- end of life is the greatest test of their faith of all.

[color=000066]Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10)[/color]

I have been called to help make sure that certain of the saints have a means of coming together for fellowship. Specifically I have been called to,... [i]lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;[/i] not just my own, but of those dear saints that have been faithful in the Gospel. It is truly a challenging thing to look at a dear saint that has been in ministry all their life suddenly standing in need. Just like orphans many of the elderly have returned to the helpless state of their infancy. They need the care of a newborn child. They need the comfort of Christ and the assurance that God has not forgotten them.


_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/23 9:32Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:

Understand that the ministry you are about to take hold of is [i]pure religion[/i]. I believe the reason for this is because their is no earthly glory in it. There will be no awards and you probably won't get your own radio or TV program. You will likely never be popular and almost none will encourage you or come alongside to help. You will walk alone and see many come along that will help for a few weeks and then leave off.




I wanted to quote all your closing oomments to BrokenOne. I wish everyone here at SI could read them. In stead, I quote this small portion in hopes it would stir many to read the entire post.

I know there are other examples like yours out there, and that is why I started this thread. It is the physical evidence that personal revival has actually occurred. Not to be rushed, but as we seek to know God, a result of knowing Him will come the knowing of what He wants us to do. It is not a seeking of ministry, it is a seeking of God that results in ministry.

Your words are as inspiring as any I have ever read on this site. My hope is that your story and others like them, that I know are out there, would inspire others to persevere in their pursuit of God until, and then because, they see Him who invisible (as was said of Moses in Heb. 11) that they might run the race that God has set for them.

Whatever that particular race happens to be, [color=0000CC]is pure religion[/color].

God bless you for the words you were able to share of the race He has set for you. As often as the Lord brings it to my mind, I will pray for you and what you do.


_________________
Mike Jones

 2008/12/24 8:30Profile





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