I had a discussion recently with a few friends in my class at Biblical about old people, art and being missional. We were sharing some different things we were doing in our churches and it came up that The Well (my church) hosts art shows and concerts that are for the local community. We have local bands and local artists and usually about 90% of the people who attend are not from our church. So, its a great chance for us to get out in the community and build relationships.
We also were talking about how another guy in our group was “just” going to an nursing home to visit with old people. The emphasis seemed to be that this was not quite as “cool” or “missional” because it wasn’t as exciting or something like that.
But, as we discussed it further we decided that it was quite possible that serving in a nursing home is one of the most missional things you can do in our culture.
In our self-centered society, the elderly are viewed as not very “useful” so we stick them in homes to get them out of our hair. Even their children see them as something that keeps them from pursuing their dreams.
Perhaps the elderly are one of the most marginalized people groups in suburban America (along with immigrants).
So, while having art in your church and connecting with the culture in this incarnational way certainaly is missional (at least, it is in my mind) perhaps its even more beautiful and missional to care for the elderly. It’s not going to get you on the front page of the local paper, but who really cares….