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Discussion in 'Preaching' started by TheocraticMonarchist, Feb 27, 2009.
I have been asked to preach at a nursing home, any advice on preaching to such a group?
1) Preach the Gospel.
2) Be clear.
3) Be sensitive to cultural shifts in language usage. (no modern slang)
4) Slow down. I find that those with hearing loss get more from a slower presentation.
I heard something recently, perhaps R.C. Sproul's Foundation Series. The speaker was preaching in a nursing home environment and it was obvious that they were not following the sermon. He was able to get much further with the singing of some sound and familiar traditional hymns. (Something to consider as a plan B.)
sing a couple of their favorite hymns
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You can also help get their attention by using questions and expecting responses...even a little prodding doesn't hurt.
Martin and Larry are spot on.
A lot depends on your environment. In our skilled nursing facility, we have different wings. Those who are cognitively impaired are in their own wing. In most general "nursing homes," that will not be the case. You may have people who are out of it moaning and groaning, others sleeping, and some trying to listen attentively.
Blessings on you as you minister. It is important work, but not something that you will likely feel on top of the world about when you are done. Don't focus on how you "did," but upon God's promises to use his word.
I have always found such groups like to sing, like "a word of testimony", like it shortish and most of them can't hear a word you say! Then afterwards as you chat with them over a cup of tea, you feel humbled and sometimes quite shallow as you hear of their long Christian experience and their evident godliness. You go to minister to them, but you end up being ministered and encouraged by them.
For those able to understand, assurance that the grace of God covers all sin in those who repent is essential. This is especially true in those who are alert enough to realize that death is coming soon. No matter how much one has heard of grace, there is always the haunting question of, "Am I good enough to make it." If you can lay that to rest for one person, you will have done a big service.
All I have to offer is this, over the Christmas holiday season, a group of carolers and myself went to a nursing home caroling. At the conclusion, I was asked to give a gospel presentation. Therefore this was merely a 5 minute evangelistic message, however, I preached on Christ our rest and our comforter. That our Redeemeer said come and I will give you rest. He promises total restoration in our ressurected bodies and that salvation for young and old rested on the hope of things to come.
I proclaimed Christ mandate that all would turn from their sins and believe on Him for the forgiveness of sins. I spoke very pronounced and slowly. Many of the dear people there asked me over to hug and thank me, All Glory to God, and many weeped as they had been in there in a state of anticipating death and the Lords gospel penetrated and gave the words many needed to hear.
Praise God the Almighty!
I appreciate the input!
I had worked at this particular nursing home for about 3 years, and I know the residents LOVE singing. However, I am at a great disadvantage when it comes to hymns. I don't know a single one. This is one of the serious consequences of being raised in "contemporary" church .
I’m prayerfully considering selecting my text from Romans chapter five. What do you guys think?
Romans 5 :1-11
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
It is difficult to say at a distance but there is no one more qualified to say than you. You know the people, you know what they like, you can judge what they want to hear but more importantly what they need to hear which is quite different. Are they by and large Christian or are many non-Christian? Would they understand the terms that you are using? The text is obviously very important but it is the way you approach it and the lessons you draw from it that people will remember. I always think going into a situation you should endevour to feed and encourage the saints whilst challenging the unsaved.
In terms of the hymns, if you have worked there for three years you should take a hymnbook home with you and go over it and you will soon find hymns that complement your message.
One thing comes to mind. (other than all the great things that have already been said like singing familiar hymns; and speaking loudly, clearly, and slowly)
Even if you don't preach it, read (or sing) Psalm 23 in the KJV. I might use the KJV for the whole service anyway since that is what they most likely used growing up. Even those with dementia will remember this Psalm, and it brings great comfort for those who are in great distress, which is most of the people who are there.
First and foremost, be faithful to God. The advice here has been great. I would add one thing: a certain sense of urgency. Obviously you love them. Love them enough to tell them some of the hard things. Don't tickle ears. It's a very obvious reality that none of them are guaranteed another day. If they do not understand the Gospel and receive Christ then they will go to hell. Remember and rest in the fact that God is responsible for changed hearts, but preach as though you are.