Men and women who spend their final years in an assisted living or nursing home are an often-forgotten population. However, Brookside Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is reaching out to these senior adults. As Brookside’s Pastor of Care Ministries, Kent Keener, oversees this growing outreach to 25 facilities in the Fort Wayne area.
The outreach began in 2015 when Keener visited several senior adult facilities in Fort Wayne, asking whether they would be receptive to Bible studies for their residents. Since then, the ministry has grown by word of mouth with 37 Brookside members ministering in 25 facilities during 2019. Each month, approximately 825-850 people are ministered to, and in December, a record 1,006 people attended either a Bible study, hymn sing or worship service. Kent notes that the hymn sings are the most well-attended activities. “People in the homes can remember all 4 verses of a hymn. They know them in their heart.”
With a smile, Kent Keener says that he had always wanted to be in ministry in his early years, but God had other plans for his life. Having served in this ministry role for 18 years, he reminds us all that God’s idea of retirement is different from the world’s idea of retirement.