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?

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.

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