Section 4 – Meaningful Christian Activities

Under Construction – Currently available in outline form. Thank you for your patience.

  1. The Basic Goals of Christian Ministry
    1. We strongly urge Christian volunteers and staff members to consider the proven facts and the timeless experience of Christians through the ages that we have tried to document in this handbook (Section 2).
    2. Make a commitment in your heart to seek to accommodate the real spiritual needs of the nursing home residents that you strive to serve!
    3. The Four Major Objectives of Christian Ministry
      1. Remind the residents of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
      2. Encourage them in their faith in Him.
      3. Tell them the “Old, Old Story” (the gospel, the “good news” of Jesus) over and over again!
      4. Pray with them.
        1. For themselves.
        2. For others.
        3. A good source for written prayers are books by Word Ministries, Inc., http://www2.prayers.org/prayers-that-avail-much.html
        4. Establish an organized framework to facilitate prayer
        5. Care Center to Prayer Center – homefreeministries.com
        6. Prayers for Seniors – by Linda Fagerland – homefreeministries.com
        7. Include prayer as an integral part of all Christian activities.
        8. “With Christ in the School of Prayer” by Andrew Murray.
          A reading of the book on video in 36 segments averaging 20 minutes each. We have found that some elderly Christians can better follow the reading if they are able to watch the reader on screen. Appropriate only for higher functioning Christian residents.
  2. Some Basic Tools for LTC Christian Ministry
    1. Five-Week Master Calendar
    2. The “Talk Board”
    3. Worship Service Program
    4. Chaplain Visitation Log
    5. Memorial Service Programs
    6. Church Shut-In Visitation Program
    7. Care Package Program
  3. Devotionals – Personal and Group
    1. Include opening prayer, a Christian Song or two, prayer requests followed by prayer, a Christian devotional reading, close with a short benediction. [be creative – one alternative would be to read a selection from one of the books on the stories behind the writing of the classic hymns. (e. g.: “Hymns of Faith & Inspiration”, Ideals Publications, Nashville, TN)]
    2. Devotional Resources
      1. “Our Daily Bread” – www.rbc.net
      2. Seniors’ Devotional Bible (hard to find)
      3. “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers
      4. “The Book of Common Prayer” – Church of England
      5. “The One Minute Bible” – John R. Kohlenberger III, Garborg’s Publishing, Bloomington, MN 55420.
  4. Ministry to Residents with Dementia
    1. Tactile materials – “Bold Endeavors” – alzheimersministry.org
    2. (under construction)
  5. “Church Services”
    1. Begin with Invocation, Sing several Christian Hymns, share a shortened sermonette, prayer for the facility, the staff, the residents, their families, their home churches, etc., closing hymn, and a Benediction. Can include a responsive reading and read a relevant poem.
    2. Guidelines for a nursing home church service.
    3. Our large print Hymn Booklets
    4. Our large print Scripture Booklets
    5. Our Worship Service Programs
  6. Christian Ministry Materials
    1. Faithful Friends Nursing Home Ministry: http://www.faithfulfriends.org/
      Faithful Friends’ mission is to spread the love and message of Jesus Christ in the nursing home environment, providing support and encouragement by regular visits of caring Christians. They support other interested groups and churches with training, multimedia ministry materials, and assistance in recruiting volunteers. This is the patriarch of nursing home ministries on the web. To this site all others are compared!
    2. Lutheran Braille Workers: http://www.lbwinc.org/
      Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) is one of the largest providers of Christian Braille and specialized Large Print in the world. Their website states that all publications by LBW are offered free of charge and are made possible through the efforts of over five thousand faithful volunteers.
    3. Sonshine Society: http://www.sonshinesociety.org/
      The Sonshine Society is an interdenominational organization whose purpose is challenging local churches and individual Christians to provide a consistent and effective Christian witness to people who, due to age or physical impairment, are unable to participate in the worship and instructional services of the Christian church. This is the premier nursing home ministry in America! They have the most comprehensive battery of resources and tools for care facility ministry in the world! And they are really humble children of the King.
    4. God Cares Ministry: http://www.godcaresministry.net/
      This ministry is based in Northeast Ohio, working toward national exposure. God Cares Ministry exists to equip Christians to help meet the spiritual needs of people in long term care facilities by recruitment, training and support. They have extensive training materials and resources, some free and some available for purchase.
    5. Free Online Christian Clipart: http://clipart.christiansunite.com/
      The website of ChristiansUnite free Christian Clipart. Christian images here are free for your use on web sites, newsletters, church bulletins or anywhere else you can find them useful, however redistribution is prohibited. If in your work in activities you need Christian clip art this is one resource that may be of assistance.
    6. Games
      1. “Name That Hymn”
        Using the hymns in the booklets produced by Christian Concourse called “Favorite Hymns of Grace” and “Hymns of Our Redeemer” (or any old hymn book, for that matter), hum or whistle or play on an instrument the melodies of one of these old favorites until someone guesses the name of it. Also, you can show one of the players the name of a hymn and let them hum it until one of the other players guesses the name of it. Then let the one who guessed it try humming the tune of the next one. Or, you can begin reading the first verse of a hymn until someone starts humming the tune or, alternately, until someone calls out the name of the hymn. Have fun!
      2. “Show Me”
        (Adapted from Creating a Successful Senior Adult Ministry, published several years ago by the seniors’ ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church.) Divide the audience by tables or small groups of individuals. Give each a pile of newspapers and magazines. Prepare in advance a list of pictures typically found in newspapers. Call out the name of one picture such as a house, a store, an office building, someone playing any kind of ball game, a car, a pickup truck, a boy, a girl, a man, a woman, etc. The team that can locate that item first in their pile, tear out the picture with no more than a two inch border, and hold it high gets a point. A variation of this would be to have a “runner” at each table to bring the picture to the leader rather than just showing it at the table.
      3. “Complete the Verse”
        Read well known verses from the King James Bible (see website – christianconcourse.org) loud and clear, leaving a main word or phrase out for the residents to fill in. An alternative game would be to give everyone a Bible, then call out the passage and let them see who can find and read the passage the fastest.
    7. Christian Audio/Video Materials
      1. Ted Baehr’s Top 20 Movies of the Last Century
        Everybody likes a good, decent movie; and just such a movie is a great past-time to help care facility residents get their minds off their troubles. But, you can wander through the maze of racks at a video store for ages and have serious questions of the quality or the moral worthiness of most of what you see. To help you, if you would like to furnish some superior movie viewing for residents in a facility, we provide the following list. These are the top twenty movies of the last century, in alphabetical order, rated by Dr. Ted Baehr, former actor, lawyer, minister and movie producer. Dr. Baehr’s work now is focused on reforming the entertainment industry.
        Dr. Baehr’s comments: “These 20 movies represent the best-crafted, most-worthwhile movies of the century. These movies have given people a deeper awareness as well as a better understanding of life. Most have imparted to the audience a heightened sense of devotion and love, and a great increase in either man’s love of God or in man’s understanding of God.”

        1. BABETTE’S FEAST (1987)
        2. BEN-HUR (1959): Subtitled A TALE OF THE CHRIST
        3. CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981)
        4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
        5. THE HIDING PLACE (1975)
        6. HIGH NOON (1952)
        7. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
        8. LES MISERABLES (1935)
        9. A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966)
        10. MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)
        11. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
        12. PLACES IN THE HEART (1984)
        13. REPENTANCE (1987)
        14. THE ROBE (1953)
        15. SERGEANT YORK (1941)
        16. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
        17. A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1935)
        18. TENDER MERCIES (1982)
        19. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)
        20. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)

          MOVIEGUIDE® offers an online subscription to its magazine, at https://www.movieguide.org/ . The magazine, which comes out 12 times a year, provides articles and reviews that can help us to be media-wise consumers. Contact the editor: Dr. Ted Baehr at (805) 383-2000.
      2. “That the World May Know” – by Ray Vander Laan
        A “tour” of the Holy Land with a view to encouragement for the modern Christian in their walk of faith. https://store.focusonthefamily.com/focus-featured/that-the-world-may-know
      3. “Parables from the Fishin’ Hole” – Nelson multi media group
        Teaching parables on wholesome living based on episodes from “The Andy Griffith Show.” http://www.amazon.com/Parables-Fishin-Hole-Study-Guide/dp/B000A3G5EW
      4. Modern Christian Videos – https://www.faithinstore.com/results.aspx#!?search=dvd%20movie
        Facing the Giants, Flywheel, Faith Like Potatoes, The Hiding Place, Jesus of Nazareth, The Ultimate Gift, Fireproof – to name a few.
      5. “Day of Discovery” Video Club – from Radio Bible Class, producers of “Our Daily Bread.” Short lessons on the Christian life. https://ourdailybreadpublishing.org/cds-dvds/dvds.html