Dear _,

Thanks for your interest. Claire and I would certainly find time to talk to your friends about ministries to seniors if you’d like. But let me start by listing a few of the basic possibilities.

1) Visitation and friendship development.

One of the best ways to begin this kind of ministry is to start with a relative or maybe someone from your church who resides in a nursing home or senior living facility. Just go visit. Talk. Share. Pray together. Listen to the stories of their lives. Read the Bible or the newspaper to them, maybe poetry. And then naturally branch out to that resident’s roommate and other friends.

Another option is to contact the pastor of your church and ask him if he’d like some company when he visits the senior care facility (if he does.) You can meet people that way. And too, you can always contact the activities director of the facility and ask about specific people who most need a little diversion, a little encouragement, a little stimulation.

2) Helping out

Just about any nursing home or other senior facility needs help in carrying out its programs. And volunteers willing to help are a great treasure. Examples? Transporting wheelchair-bound residents to events. Meals. Providing company while the resident goes through therapy. Helping with parties, meals, bingo games, playing cards, worship services, special holiday events, shopping excursions, etc.

3) Entertainment

Singing and/or helping with sing along events. Playing an instrument. Dancing. Short skits. Reading aloud. Sharing hobbies. All kinds of things. Talk to your friends and pray about these opportunities to decide on what you’d most like to do. Then make sure you contact the activities director of the facility for permission and guidance.

4) Seniors outside of “the system.”

Be sure not to overlook the possibility of making friends and helping out with the elderly (and others with special needs, like people who are physically or mentally challenged) who still live on their own. There’s probably a lot of grandparents among your circle of friends who would love to have a visit and make some young friends. The same with other seniors from your various church congregations.

And finally, if you’d ever like to join Claire and I at one of our “When Swing Was King” programs, you’ll find the schedule of our shows at the Vital Signs Ministries website. We will say a prayer for you and your friends, asking our Lord to carefully guide and bless your decisions. And again, thanks so much for your note.


But be doers of the word,
and not hearers only.