How Does Your Church Treat the Elderly?

Our family has spent a very busy, weekend visiting nursing homes with violin Christmas music and handing out Candy Canes. But it makes you think, what are the churches really doing for the elderly?

Many of those who are still in the churches feel their church has been stolen from them. It isn’t anything like it used to be. The music is too loud. They don’t know the songs anymore. What happened to dressing in your “Sunday Best”? When did play clothes and beach attire become acceptable for church?

What about those who are in the nursing homes and assisted living? What is the church doing for them? They don’t get the same attention as other groups who aren’t in church? Many churches will have bus ministries to pick up children but fewer have bus ministries for the elderly who are unable to drive.

My family gets alot of attention when we visit churches. We have a child in every age group from teen/college to preschoolers. We just lack a baby. So many of the churches are eager to share their ministries with us.

“We have great nurseries.”
“Fabulous children’s programs.”
“Children’s church until grade 5.”
“Rockin’ youth groups.”
“Youth camps.”
“Youth Church.”

Everyone is so eager to “sell” us their ways to be relevant to our family. The only thing is that if they really looked at us they would see that we don’t look like their typical family. The girls are modestly dressed and the boys aren’t in jeans and T-shirts. We also have more than the typical two children. A good “selling” point would be:

“We have family integrated Sunday Schools.”
“Our youth leader is the parents.”
“We aren’t offended by children in the worship service.”
“If you need to step out we have a Cry Room in back so you won’t miss the service.”

Who’s Emerging for the Widows? Thoughts on Missional Partiality

…who’s emerging for the elderly? What about emerging toward the culture of the convalescent home? What about analyzing the windowless worldview of the shut-in? What about making your life and the life of your church relevant to the local widows? What about becoming all things to those with Parkinson’s, artificial hips, cataracts, failed retirement plans, and no family?

Many today are eager to get tattoos and dress hip and overemphasize technology to “relate” to the surrounding culture, to “connect,” and to “open doors.” But if the majority of these people are truly motivated by a compassionate heart, why aren’t any of our youth dressing like the precious elderly folks in the nursing home? Who’s learning to play bridge and chess? Who’s playing vinyl records and eating at the HomeTown Buffet for no other reason than to open doors?


Shame on you
for proclaiming to the woman
seasoned with white silver hair
“we’re all about young families now”
and letting her miss church
the place where
she first believed
where she prayed at the altar
and repented once for all …


2 thoughts on “How Does Your Church Treat the Elderly?

  1. My 87 year old mother is one of the suffering elderly in the church she called home for many years.
    The new changes included her not even being able to use the ladies restroom- suddenly off limits because it was accessed through the nursery.
    That was mild compared to the other changes made –
    There’s a lot to be learned from our elders- as they learned from theirs…
    Sadly that church lost my precious mother- she quit- with a very broken and heavy heart.
    No more traditional music to speak of-
    And she was the church organist for years- as of last Sunday.
    Change is inevitable- change can be progressive- positive.
    It can also be devastating to the precious souls who remained faithful, kept the church going as their friends passed away…
    We need a renewed outlook as Christians- our goal should be to minister to EVERY age group-
    And we should also allow our elders to minister to us! They are often disregarded- for the good of the rest of the members.
    I will not attend a church where my elders are made to feel diminished-
    Any more than I would knowingly participate in a church where any person was devalued-
    One redeemer- that’s all we have-
    And He doesn’t save us according to our
    Age, race, creed or color.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    I’m sorry that your mother has suffered even at the hands of the church due to her age. That is not the Christian response to elders. 🙁 We are to honor our elders and treat them as if they are our fathers and mothers not as problems to be rid of.

    I pray that you are able to find a church which values all the parts of the Church body. We are all one body with Christ as the head. What person would just remove a little toe just because it was deemed unnecessary?

    1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (ESV)

    12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
    13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
    14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
    15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
    16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
    17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
    18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
    19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
    20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
    21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
    22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
    23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
    24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
    25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
    26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
    27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

    This is how we should treat those in the church.

    Berean Wife


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