Small changes lead to increase in sharing Christ’s love

Hope Residence July 28, 2020

Our mission has always been to share Christ’s love with those entrusted to our care. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, several changes have taken place within our care communities; however, access to God’s Word has not changed.

Throughout the pandemic, our chaplains have provided Bible studies, worship services, and comfort to our residents in safe and effective ways. These changes have resulted in an increase in resident participation at one of our care communities.

Prior to COVID-19, Pastor Patrick Feldhus, the chaplain at Hope Residence, would lead a “Worship at the Cross” service for residents each week. But with group activities limited to no more than 10 residents, he had to find a different way.

His solution included using a computer on wheels and providing a separate worship service for each of Hope’s individual living areas. We are seeing positive effects from the location change.

  1. The small group size encouraged residents to participate more by asking and answering more questions.
  2. More residents began to attend regularly, thus resulting in a 15 percent increase in attendance. 

“I noticed a number of residents who previously would not attend worship, now attending and interacting with me,” said Pastor Feldhus. “This small change allowed me to create stronger relationships with our residents.”

When restrictions on group sizes are lifted, Pastor Feldhus plans to continue to provide a service in each living area to allow more residents to benefit from hearing the Lord’s message. Despite the reason for the change, the solution has had a positive impact on the residents at Hope.

“Sharing God’s word is the cornerstone of our ministry. With our chaplains changing the way we deliver God’s word, we are reaching more people,” said Mark Hayes, the president of ministry at The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA). “During this uncertain time, God’s message of love and salvation is constant. Our chaplains share that message of strength and peace.”

Across all TLHA care communities, we have seen our chaplains strive to continue their important work. In one month alone, our chaplains increased the number of personal visits from 1,500 to 2,400, thus connecting more residents with the personal assurance of God’s love and support.