As many of you know, our church is in a nursing home. That means our family has the complete responsibility of setting up for and having the church service every week. Without the help of our children, it would be a difficult task for just Steve and me.
When we arrive on Sunday morning, the children go to the rooms asking residents if they want to come to church, and then push the wheelchairs into the dining room where we have our service. One of the boys goes to the storage closet to get out our personal sound equipment that we use because so many of our congregation are hard of hearing. Then he sets up the sound equipment. The other boys move tables and rearrange chairs.
We have a tub containing our large-print, spiral bound, lightweight hymn books. One of the girls takes and distributes the hymn books to those who can still read. Christopher and Sarah take turns playing the piano. Every one fellowships with our elderly congregation before and after church.
Nathan and Melanie have undertaken the difficult task of maintaining the church services when we are on the road. My parents help them, and so do two of Melanieâ€™s sisters. Nathan is the song leader and preacher when we are away. Of course, Abigail is always a favorite with our congregation, whether we are there or on the road.
We are completing our seventh year of a nursing home church. Steve has always had the responsibility of pastoring the church including Sunday preaching, conducting funerals when requested, and counseling. For several years, Christopher has preached once a month. Plus he has taken the responsibility for many of the hospitalization visits and ministry â€“ which there is quite a bit of in our church. Christopher also goes weekly to pray with one of the men. Both Christopher and Steve are regularly asked by the staff to make other pastoral visits to a resident who isnâ€™t a regular church attendee.
More recently Joseph (20) and John (18) are beginning to preach one Sunday every other month. They are learning to seek the Lord for where He would have them preach, study for the message, prepare it, and then present it.
It is a fruitful season for Steve and me as we see the reality of our ministry multiplied, expanded, and enriched by our childrenâ€™s involvement. We want to encourage those of you with young children to be faithful to bringing your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord â€“ truly looking to Scripture rather than following what most others are doing. It may seem wearisome and lonely at times, but the fruitful season will come.
Trusting in Jesus,
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4