Our founders recognized that there were no chaplains serving care center residents in the local (Portland, Oregon) area. Some churches provided weekend services, but rarely ministered to individual residents.
Today, we look to the ever increasing need nationwide:
- 1.4 million residents are living in nursing homes
- 900,000 are residing in assisted living facilities
- 745,000 older adults are living in continuing care retirement communities
One-third of Americans will spend all or part of their last 6 months of life in a long-term care facility (figures based on late 2008 national statistics)
“And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ –Matthew 25:40 (NLT)”
Our own observation is that 80% of those living in long term facilities receive less than one visit per month, on average.
This is a ministry that doesn’t require us to spend years in preparation learning a new language and raising support to live in an entirely new culture. We can stay at home, and be available for ministry as much as time and our physical ability make possible.
Who Are We
Nursing Home Ministries, Inc. is celebrating over 35 years. We are an incorporated, non-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization, governed by a ten member Board of Directors. We have an operating staff consisting of an executive director, associate director, office manager and part-time office helper. Only the office manager and helper are paid employees.
Currently, we are a group of 184 active commissioned chaplains serving 6,000 care center residents weekly. We are an interdenominational, evangelical, Christian ministry. Our chaplains represent many fundamental, evangelical faiths, but when ministering we emphasize God’s love and His Word – never the things that divide us denominationally.
We require that each of our chaplains have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that they be active in a local church.
The key to this ministry is the committed individual, man or woman, who serves as chaplain for specific facilities. These chaplains are interviewed and commissioned by our Board of Directors, through a normal process of application and review.
What We Do
Traditionally, our chaplains hold a short chapel service during the week – singing hymns and presenting a short devotional from the Word of God. There is usually a time of fellowship before and after each service. Currently, a number of our chaplains have weekend services in assisted living facilities and retirement communities where God has opened the door. We find that a friendly relationship established with an individual resident is most effective in opening the door to sharing God’s Word.
Recognizing that God has gifted each of us in special ways, we do not require chaplains to minister in a specific way, but according to their gifting.
Our chaplain’s relationship with the staff and management of each facility is vitally important. We are the invited guests in each facility where we serve – 300 of them across this nation. We endeavor to meet each home’s desires and schedules, but never compromise our Message.