What is a pastor's greatest asset in caring for elderly widows?

There are so many different kinds of people in the local church who provide a helpful service for the pastors to care for elderly widows, but I have found a specific group that shows to be especially valuable.  It is a group in the church that often “flies under the radar” in regard to being called upon to play such a role.  Yet, this group possesses particular qualities that show to be very useful to the pastors and meaningful to widows, especially older widows.   This group of folks in the church…

“Stay at home moms”

Here are 4 reasons why this group of ladies seem to be especially fruitful in this type of ministry:

Availability:  Although stay at home moms are typically on a set schedule when their kids are little, this provides open times for them to go and visit widows and take their children with them at a time that is convenient.  This schedule also provides open slots of availability during the day, which is typically the best time to visit elderly widows.

Kids bless widows:  One the greatest gifts you can give an elderly widow is to take a child with you to visit them.  Most elderly widows love children.  Many of them have children of their own who maybe live far away, which means visits from children and grandchildren are infrequent.  They love to just watch a child.  Talk to them.  Play with them.  Hear you tell stories about them.  Interacting with a child often becomes an elderly widow’s most precious and memorable weekly moment.

An opportunity for a younger woman to care for an older woman:  Elderly widows appreciate care from anyone in the church, but they seem to love to be especially cared for by other younger women.  Not sure if it is the feeling of a daughter’s care, or what, but my experience shows a clear meaningful distinction from visits by young mothers than any others.

An opportunity for an older woman to instruct and encourage the younger:  On the flip side, these interactions provide an opportunity for a young mom to potentially gain wise instruction from an older mom.  We have an elderly widow in her mid-nineties who had 7 children (one set of twins).  As you can imagine, this woman is an endless resource of wisdom and insight for young moms.  Young moms love to learn from these kinds of ladies.  These elderly widows love their many years of experience to be utilized to serve Christ’s people. 


Pastors, so often we hesitate to call upon stay at home moms because of the stress and challenges that come with this noble, godly task.  Yet, I encourage you to see their value by assisting you in this role and the personal benefit they will receive from it.

Stay at home moms, you play a most important role and don’t allow anyone to demean this noble, God-honoring calling.  Yet, I pray that you will see serving elderly widows as a way to remove yourself out of a daily life that can become inwardly focused and seize a wonderful opportunity to use your gifts, time, and resources (children) to serve a dear elderly saint in your church.  I am confident if you will make the time and step out of your comfort zone to engage in caring for elderly widows, you will be as encouraged as that widow will most certainly be by the gift of your fellowship.

On a future post, I will explain the way we train willing younger mothers to care for elderly widows in our local church.

Posted in Caring for Widows
7 comments on “What is a pastor's greatest asset in caring for elderly widows?
  1. Dorothy says:

    It makes me happy thinking there are still a LOT of good people out there willing to help each other in times of crisis.

  2. Joe V says:

    I appreciate your daily insights. This particular one has two aspects that seem to be missed, though…

    Shouldn’t moms be busy with the education and training of their children? Although there might be time around that to perform ministry to widows, to assume SAHM have lots of time is to assume they are negligent in their duties to home and family?

    Shouldn’t these widows be ministering to the younger moms (and thus being blessed in the process)? I do understand there are a portion of the widows who are homebound, and that is a different scenario. But most are not. If the widows were reaching out to younger moms in the homes of the younger moms, providing not only socialization but also instruction and encouragement in teaching their children, keeping their home, etc., etc. would that not accomplish even more??

    The points don’t address every case, of course, but ideally these two cases would address the vast majority (I know they don’t, but it’s something to work toward!).

    • Brian Croft says:

      Good questions. Moms are to be busy with educating and training their children, but caring for widows is a good way to fill some flexible time that gets filled quickly with other important and meaningful tasks. My challenge is to prioritize this work as other things will take its place if they don’t.

      In the cases that elderly widows assume the role of mentor to young moms, yes it is very fruitful. There are many reasons, however, this doesn’t happen (physical struggles, lack of priority, feelings of inadequacy). My experience is that many elderly widows do not take the initiative to this role, but gladly play that role when sought after by a young mom eager to learn. Those elderly widows trying to be faithful to Titus 2, is the ideal situation. Through most of my experience, that is not the norm.

      Thanks for writing.

  3. Jim Savastio says:

    Dear Brian,
    Thanks for this. You may be interested that Day One has a good book on this subject from a very dear friend of mine, Pastor Austin Walker, God’s Care For the Widow.


  4. Ray says:

    Thank you for this article..I am not a stay at home mom – as my daughter goes to school and I work in the church office during school hours. I had an opportunity to go visit one of our widows (Nolene) when one day she had left her purse at the church. I offered to deliver her purse to her (she lived quite a distance), but said I had to pick my daughter up from school first. Nolene has quite serious heart and respiratory problems, but when we arrived at her home, she was so thankful and eager for us to come in and have a cup of tea with her (giving ice cream to my daughter). she was so eager to be hospitable that she refused my offers to make the tea, insisting that I relax and let her work. My ten year old thoroughly enjoyed the time, as this dear saint showed love and concern and real interest in the life of a ten year old. We ended up staying for over an hour and it was a blessed time for all of us.

5 Pings/Trackbacks for "What is a pastor's greatest asset in caring for elderly widows?"
  1. […] What is a pastor’s greatest asset in caring for elderly widows? […]

  2. […] are we talking about? Well, let me give you a hint….it is the group of stay at home Moms! Read the blog post that we have linked below and feel free to comment about your thoughts!  HERE IS THE LINK TO THE […]

  3. […] a comment » Brian Croft with two interesting nuggets on the role of young mothers in caring for widows and concluding that someone is not called to gospel ministry. The latter seems to focus on the […]

  4. […] 30, 2010 by Brian Croft On a recent post, we considered that stay at home moms are a great asset to a pastor, particularly in the area of […]

  5. […] On a recent post, we considered that stay at home moms are a great asset to a pastor, particularly in the area of caring for elderly widows.  As a promised follow-up, here are 5 practical ways we train young moms in our church to take their children and visit elderly widows once a list has been created of those widows by the pastors: […]

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