Health & Spirit

What can our church do to help our older members?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: Many of our church members are getting older and can't get out much anymore. Our pastor tries to visit them, but what else could we do to stay in touch with them? I'm getting older myself, and this concerns me. -- Mrs. B.T.

A: I'm grateful for your interest in those who are older and aren't able to attend church as often as they once did. It's easy to overlook them, I know -- and yet at one time they were a very important part of your church, and more than ever they need your love and spiritual encouragement. The Bible commands us to "show respect for the elderly" (Leviticus 19:32).

What can you do? First, share your concern with your pastor, and with others in your church who can reach out to those who are no longer able to come to church. After all, your pastor should not have to bear this responsibility alone. Seek practical ways to visit them regularly; be sure they're on the mailing list for your weekly bulletins; find out what other churches in your community are doing to keep in touch with their older members.

In addition, urge your older members to keep in contact with each other, as well as with friends who are still active. Encourage them also to pray regularly for your church and its missionaries -- and for other ministries as well. It may be the greatest ministry they will ever have -- whether they realize it or not.

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Remember: When we come to Christ, we become members of His family, and are united together as brothers and sisters in Christ. May this truth guide you and your church as you seek to help your older members. The Bible says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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