In recent weeks, North Carolina church leaders have risen to the challenge of “doing church” differently. Pastors have traded their pulpits for studios. Sunday School classes and small groups have gone virtual. Our homes have become houses of worship. Every week, church leaders are striving to make Sunday morning as normal as possible.
Normalcy and familiarity is important for our congregations. While being together in person with our church families is not possible right now, hearing challenging messages and seeing our church leaders online brings comfort during difficult times. This is especially true for senior adults. To help them adjust to the current COVID-19 world, here are 15 ways to care for senior adults beyond the Sunday morning worship time.
- Make regular phone calls. Challenge a Sunday School class or small group to call senior adults on a weekly basis to check in.
- Mail Bible study, Sunday School or small group materials to them.
- If you discover or suspect that an aging church member or neighbor is experiencing loneliness, encourage them to call the N.C. Baptist Aging Ministry’s “One Hope” hotline at (866) 578-4673.
- If you suspect a senior adult is lonely, you can also submit a request for a member of the N.C. Baptists on Mission’s prayer team to call and pray with them.
- As a family project, deliver a boxed meal to their home. You can refer to this guide on “How to Safely Prepare a Boxed Meal” developed by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Discover if they would like to receive a meal from Meals on Wheels.
- For those with internet access, help them set up what they need to stream services. For those without, mail them a DVD, CD or transcript of the Sunday sermon.
- Go to the grocery store for them.
- Go to the pharmacy for them.
- Do yard work or wash their car as a family project.
- Take out their trash and recycling.
- Have your children write them a personalized letter or card.
- Keep them up-to-date using one of several group-messaging resources. One web-based system to consider is Call Multiplier.
The Lord has given us a wonderful opportunity to care for the senior adults in our churches and neighborhoods. In these days, there are many practical ways to live out Leviticus 19:32, which says, “You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old. Fear your God; I am the Lord.”