(Should We Lead Worship Services At A Nursing Home?) Question and Answer.
“Our congregation conducts regular worship services at a local nursing home. Many of the residents attend but most are incapable of participating. They just sit there while the lesson is given and the songs are sung. Some think we could use our time better doing something else. Others contend this is a good ministry, even though most of the residents are not members of the church. Do you think we should keep doing this?”
How a church best uses its resources is up to that church so I cannot tell you to keep doing or stop doing this worship service. Only the leaders and members of your congregation can decide where best to be of service to the saved and the lost in your community. I can give some ideas on conducting services for the infirm.
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly expressed concern for those among His people who were in need. The widow and the orphan were particularly important to God since they could not fend for themselves. They depended on more powerful people (leaders, elders, judges) to defend and protect them. When God’s people failed to tend to the less fortunate, God became angry with them. . .
“Your rulers are rebels
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves a bribe
And chases after rewards.
They do not defend the orphan,
Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.”
– Isaiah 1:23 (New American Standard Bible)
This verse (along with countless others in the prophecy books of the Old Testament) tells of God’s interest in caring for those who are without resources in a community.
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
– James 1:27 (New American Standard Bible)
In the New Testament, God reminds us again of His interest in those who are in distress and cannot fend for themselves. Pure religion involves “visiting” these people – that is, taking care of their needs as best we can. I cannot see how helping people worship God (even with limited understanding or ability) could be considered a bad thing. In fact, helping those in distress draw closer to the God of all comfort is a wonderful act.
“So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
– Galatians 6:10 (New American Standard Bible)
The apostle Paul tells us that we should do good to all people, especially to those who are believers. I believe God is honored and pleased when His children conduct a service for those who are infirm. Even if they do not grasp all that is going on around them, God is aware of their needs and abilities. And I believe He must be pleased when His children use their talents and resources to bless those who are in need.