Topics on Aging

By Juan Gallo

What is the role of churches in caring for the aging population?

February 23, 2022

An empty church hall

One of the primary ways Heart2Heart connects the community to the aging population is through churches. South Florida is home to many wonderful churches, and we are blessed when we provide a community of passionate believers an opportunity to care for seniors.

I believe that Jesus continues to command his followers to care for the orphan and the widow. These days, we must include seniors in that list of people who don’t otherwise have enough resources to meet their needs.

Many seniors could be classified as modern-day orphans: folks living out their days without any living family members to call on for help.

I serve at Riverside Church as the deacon’s pastor alongside leading a nonprofit that seeks to care for seniors. I often find myself observing the interaction between churches and our senior saints.

And I wonder: Is the church doing enough to help the aging population?

I think there is a blind spot in the church for senior believers when they are no longer attending in person. Something is being lost when our local church stops considering the aging members of their congregation as part of their community.

How do we treat the prayer warrior who has been attending the same church for decades and now can’t leave her house? How do we reach the former elder who’s now living at a care center?

I think there is a blind spot in the church for senior believers when they are no longer attending in person. Something is being lost when our local church stops considering the aging members of their congregation as part of their community.

The consequences are twofold. First, it leaves the senior saint disconnected from the community that was their lifeblood. And second, the church community itself has abandoned priceless years of wisdom – countless lessons in how to follow Jesus – when they forget their senior saints.

Even newer churches, primarily filled with younger church goers, have a role to play in serving the seniors in our community. Residents in care centers and seniors aging at home are hungry to hear the Word. They miss worshiping with a church community.

If you’re a believer, and you want to reach seniors with God’s truth, we have a place for you. God called us all to care for those who are lonely.

What is your role, as a part of the church, in serving senior saints?

Read more about:
Juan Gallo
Juan Gallo is the CEO of Heart2Heart Outreach, where he oversees the mobilization of volunteers to provide hope, share love and restore purpose to the lives of the aging population across South Florida.

He also serves as a local pastor and as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University, where he is teaching a course on diversity and aging. Juan has a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor intern.

3 Comments

  1. L. Samuel

    As a church we must never forget our aging or elderly, not only is it ethnically right but it is a Kingdom principle to assure that the aging generation is well cared for. These are the pioneers that have paved the way for all of us and we must extended the honor respect and gratitude back to them. The bible declared in James 1:27 that this is pure religion and it is pleasing to God. The church should remain partially accountable for the spiritual nourishing of are aging community along with helping with all the necessities for day to day living.

    Reply
  2. Kayla Calafiore

    As a believer and follower of Christ we must take into account His teachings and the instructions we are given through scripture as we, the church, care for our elderly. As a church we must have a great deal of respect for the aging generation, as we are commanded by God in Leviticus 19:32 stating, “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD” (NIV). We are also called to care for widows and orphans, help the weak, honor our parents, and care for our families. By these instructions we must view the aging population as people who need to be cared for and that we, the church, have the responsibility to do so. With a great deal of gratitude, we must consider our aging population with honor and high regard for they have wisdom through their experiences and long life. “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” (ESV) says Job 12:12, reminding us of the value that comes from relationship with our elderly population.

    Reply
  3. Shantall Lehnhard

    This article motivates me to be more involved with the elderly-aged community. The scripture teaches us to exhort the elderly. We should love, care for and honor our elders.

    Reply

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