Attendance and Chronic Illness

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    How do you work with members who are chronically ill (not contagious, think mental illness or meds that make them sleepy or pain that makes them have to move to keep it down) and cannot sit through an entire service for one reason or the other? Have you ever dealt with this in your congregation?
    Have you ever had a member who needed to stand up and move and walked along the back at times? Was your congregation okay with it? If this was a situation, what was the size of your congregation?
    Would you prefer such a member stay home and listen to podcasts, or would you be comfortable with the member bringing up the situation and asking to be able to move about during services in an attempt to keep attending?
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Our auditorium will hold about 350 people, and is configured so that the back pew is less than 75 feet from the pulpit. A glass partition is right behind that last row which separates if from the foyer. There are speakers in the foyer (and in the nursery) for those who need to leave the auditorium for any reason. There is a long pew in the foyer. One can see the platform and hear what is being said (or sung).

    If somebody needs to move around, our setup will work very well, and will not be a distraction in the auditorium (except for the preacher, who can see everything).
     
  3. righteousdude2

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    The Growing Baby Boomer Age Will Mean More of This!

    Great question...

    As a Baby Boomer, and a person with several chronic illnesses, I am unable to attend church on a regular basis. I used to feel guilty, but there was a day, that I was there before the doors were opened, usually because they needed me to unlock them!

    However, time, illness and an ever decreasing in to control my neurological pain levels, without morphine, has made it nearly impossible for me to be at church! I do listen to podcasts [not the same; I need the shoulder rubbing fellowship], and always communicate with the pastor and others within the church through cyber messaging!

    Unfortunately, degenerative disk disease, and bi-lateral neuropathy have taken a lot of wind out of my sales, and it has ended a once active music ministry! I feel that I still contribute to the Kingdom through my cyber ministries, and the ability to work with people that, like myself, are growing older and living as shut-ins!

    We never know what tomorrow will hold for us, Gina, but if we believe as the Apostle Paul and tell our self that He remains more than sufficient to meet our needs, and find a new and exciting way to stay on the saddle, then we will live a productive life in the ministry, the Kingdom and our self not be trampled down by the defeat we are confronted with when we lose the ability to attend church on a regular basis!

    I am more than comfortable with my situation, and learned to rise beyond the limitations this old body has set in front of me! With God's help, I will continue to minister, and that is really what it is all about!

    Currently, more than a few hundred people, from around the globe, call me their pastor...and that is satisfying! I am there for them, and I've learned to make sure they are being ministered to, even in their own limitations to get to church regularly!

    Again, this is a great question, and I look forward to others giving input. Shalom! :type:
     
  4. Sapper Woody

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    Due to my deployment induced problems, I can't stand crowds. I don't go to concerts, sporting events, or even restaurants during busy times. I discussed this with my pastor, and we decided that I'd wait outside in the car until my wife texted me that handshaking was over. Then I'll come in, sit in the foyer (there are speakers) for the message, and then step out again during the invitation. I am going to start this next Sunday. (I'm on duty right now and won't get off until midmorning).
     
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    #5 Iconoclast, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  6. righteousdude2

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    Thanks!

    I appreciate this. I actually listen to several different pod casts. I watch the service and message during my recumbent bike exercise. That gets me to a church service at least four times a week. I really love the broadcasts, as they allow me to stay current with the Word, something I missed terribly when it became evident that getting to church was no longer possible.

    I should explain that my neuropathy reaches it peak pain levels in the early-morning hours [between 6 and 9 am]. This means that I have had to change how I live, and I call it permanent Graveyard shift living! Because the pain builds up slowly, and reaches a peak in those hours, I have had to adjust how I live, dramatically.

    I'm blessed to have a wonderful helpmate, lifetime friend and wife. She has bouts of insomnia, so my trouble with sleeping normal hours, fits her just fine!

    The only problem we have is that any doctor appointments must be made in the very late-afternoon hour, and again, God has blessed by giving me favor with my doctors!

    When the pain is not raging within, we do go to evening services, but like Gina asked, I am up and down, as my back is painful, and I need to stretch the legs to keep the neuropathy from coming on earlier than normal!

    Life is what we make of it, and with his help, and the miracle of cyber space, getting sound teaching is no longer a problem!

    If anyone on the board is suffering from similar physical problems, I am here to help. I've gotten used to it, and I know you can too! It is just making a life out of what life gives you!

    Again, Icon, you are a good brother [even though we've bumped heads on some issues] and I appreciate you for sending the link! I will be adding the link to places where I can get fed! It looks like a great place to go to for nurishment! :wavey:
     
  7. righteousdude2

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    Brother....

    ....as I said in the response above this one...life gives us challenges, and life is what we make of it! It sounds like you are starting to get a good grip on how to handle what life has laid at your doorstep. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Actually, you are in my prayers, as I give thanks for men and women like yourself, willing to do what many won't in order to protect our freedom and way of life [although the way of life is crumbling]. I've always surrounded you with prayers and angels to protect you when in harm's way! God bless you! :wavey:
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I just sit in the back cause I get antsy and need to walk around or go outside ..... I can just as easily stay home. I think for shutins that sermon audio and live broadcasts are the way to go.
     
  9. salzer mtn

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    Years ago in our country churches there was a intermission between Sunday school and church so everyone could go to the outside toilets or take a smoke to settle their nerves. :laugh: I bet in your modern churches people have never seen a person listening to the preacher take out his pocket knife and start whittling on a piece of cedar, I have.
     
  10. Gina B

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    I'm glad I brought this up and that you are willing to share and talk about this. There are multiple things going on and I was relatively sure it couldn't be limited to little old me.

    Salzer, I once lived in an area where that wasn't uncommon among churches with immigrants. They'd stop about halfway through the regular service for a break. Once church that was centered in town did not stop, though they had ashtrays and benches outside. The authorities came around to the one in town after the new smoking rules came in place (apparently someone called) and took out ashtrays from outside and put up signs that there was no smoking on the property within x amount of feet at that one. I don't think they bothered the older ones on the outskirts, unless someone called. Dunno...

    Sapper, different reasons here, but I empathize. One thing I'll never forget was when I once moved from a state where personal space was more respected to a much "warmer" place and went to visit a church. Within 60 seconds, a stranger had her arms around me in an unexpected hug. My stress levels were through the roof from the move and I went straight to defense mode without thinking and shoved her in a pretty rough way. Needless to say, that didn't end up being my church. I was just as surprised as she was, but try explaining that to strangers...

    Nerve pain, neuropathy. Yep. This and new meds are an issue. I didn't know there was security at our current place until recently. I've been busted walking about the lot and kicking the crud out of the brick pillars during services. (I'll slip out when in too much pain) I felt soooo dumb when I found out. Nobody said anything per se, they're sweet, the guy just asked what was wrong and I explained, but man did I feel stupid, and wondering what they must have thought all this time. Numb is better than fire, so I'll kick stuff or walk until that happens. Right now, new meds are making me very sleepy and if I sit still, I'm out cold. I actually snored last time and was mortified! That was a first.
     
  11. exscentric

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    "that handshaking was over." Getting out of that has to be a blessing :)
     
  12. Jkdbuck76

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    we had a lady who had back surgery. she couldn't sit in a pew for months. but she'd be there, standing during the whole service.
     
  13. Gina B

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    For those who need to walk, maybe we could just throw up our hands and shout amen on occasion and nobody has to know the difference. :laugh:

    Exscentric, just get creative.

    Tie your shoes.
    Blow your nose.
    Tie your husband's shoes. (and come off as really submissive in the process..ROFL)
    Tie your wife's shoes, and come off as the sweetest husband in history.
    Tie your kids shoes and if you don't have kids, find a kid and tell them how dangerous untied shoes are and guide them to their parent to have them help. This will take a lot of time as you chat on the way about cartoons and the merits of living in a free trade society.
    Leave and use the restroom.
    Engage your spouse or a friend in an intense conversation.
    Walk around with an intentional gaze then SWERVE, walk, SWERVE.
    Fill out the envelope for the offering.
    Take out your sheet music and file through it frantically.
    Go to the "altar" and pray.
    Etc..

    Maybe this is why lightning almost hit me during services one day... :smilewinkgrin:
     
  14. exscentric

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    Thanks fer da idees!!!

    Was in a large church with low sitting pews when the pastor told the guests to remained seated and told the congregation to stand and shake hands with the new folks. Suddenly dozens of hands everywhere :)
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    If anyone in New Jersey took out a knife they would call the cops! :laugh:
     
  16. Judith

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    If the person is not distracting the service it is fine which may be possible in a large church. Otherwise they should think about others and not attend or Many churches today have a tape minitry or some other area where they will not disturb and still hear the message.
     
  17. Gina B

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    What do you think would be too distracting?

    What would be a point where, perhaps, the members should think about the sick people instead of forcing them into more isolation than they already go through?
     
    #17 Gina B, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  18. agedman

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    I have always had difficulties with the hand shaking and "pre -worship" jabbering.

    Both are out of character for true worship in my opinion.

    The hand shaking always has some over zealous person who has to crush my arthritic hands, and honestly, I find no expectation of worship when I am being abused by such.

    The pre-worship jabber is so distracting. If you want to laugh and tell jokes - do it elsewhere. I want to read the Scriptures and listen for the impulse of the Holy Spirit guiding me into confession and wisdom.

    Thankfully, I am not yet consumed with such a plague that I have to avoid assemblies.

    I do think I will look into what Sapper Woody does.

    I can sit in my car, read the Word, and wait about 20 minutes into the service - avoid much distractions and problems.

    But then some jerk will come bang on my window and startle me awake.

    :(
     
  19. sag38

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    Agedman is the service just for you? In your post you used "I" six times. Too many people are selfish in the church. They want it their way while forgetting that corporate worship is a shared experience. Perhaps if many would stop worrying about what others are doing or aren't doing true worship might actually become a possibility.
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yea.....a Yankee no doubt.
     

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