Dear Fellow Children of the King,
The old website of Christian Concourse Ministries passed away last month and this new website took its place as the primary source on the world-wide-web for our nursing home ministry materials and resources. This is, indeed, a very important step for us! It has been over two months since we started the rewrite.
We have completely transformed the focus of our website to be exclusively on the long-term care ministry arena. As we wrote in our March 2019 newsletter, this does not mean we have ceased our embrace of the areas covered by our former website; things like the “Good News of Jesus Christ” or “Christian Unity” or “Bible Study” or “Christian Original Writing” or “Prayer.” What it means is that these categories and areas of focus and attention are being brought to bear in the missionary field of nursing home ministry.
The number of our neighbors who are elderly and infirm is growing. The population of the United States, and the greater proportion of the rest of the world, is rapidly aging and living longer. Because of improved medicines and more rapid response times, younger individuals who have suffered severe diseases and injuries are thankfully surviving in greater numbers – but they often find themselves in need of special help. Some form of accommodation of these facts is in order for the Christian community to consider.
We do not profess to have all the answers, but we do know that new initiatives and fresh focus is in order. It is our prayer that the younger population within the Christian community is on the edge of discovering the rich harvest awaiting them in care centers. Indeed, we pray that many in Christ’s Body will heed the Master’s call and take the challenge to follow Him into long-term care settings all over the world. Across the world the Church is involved in many forms of helping those who cannot help themselves. Certainly, much is being done by some, and for this we must praise the Lord. But it seems plain to us that the scale of need in long-term care is advancing faster than the response of God’s people.
It is important to note that the vast majority of elderly and infirm who need help with daily activities to survive are living in private homes. They are being cared for primarily by family and sometimes by friends. So, there is the familiar need in care facilities but we must not forget the elderly and infirm living secluded lives in private homes. It is the Church who has the answer to these age-old concerns: The Holy Spirit inspired James, the brother of Jesus, to prompt us with this exhortation: visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction is pure and undefiled religion. See James 1:27
One tool that can help local congregations be proactive in addressing the visitation responsibilities of their parishioners is our material for a Church Shut-In Visitation Program. This program involves the development of a small-group within the church’s active members. The purpose would be clearly defined and specifically designed to actually meet the need of the elderly and infirm who are associated with their fellowship but can no longer attend services.
The “baby-boomer effect” has been talked about for several years now. Just about everybody is informed on the subject. The issue remains to be, what are we going to do about it? The “problem” is huge, even daunting if we ask what we, as sympathetic individuals, can do by ourselves. Well, we can pray…and we can listen when we pray. The Lord may bring something to your mind that you can do. He may lead you to step out, within your means, in some practical way to help. Though it may seem insignificant, if you are obedient the Lord will multiply your effort, however humble it may be.
So, these are really good reasons why we are focusing our website on nursing home ministry; why we continue to conduct “church services” in nursing homes; why we spend all the time and energy to produce and distribute our hymn booklets, scripture booklets and CDs and DVDs. Please know that we need and deeply appreciate your support! Thanks be to our Lord Jesus for the very faithful friends He has sent our way over the years! We humbly ask that you continue to join with us in your giving and your prayers for this great mission field to the elderly and infirm all around us.
With Love In Christ,
Jerry and Dar Johnson