Preaching Good News to the Elderly

The last time I gave a Bible message was during Valentine’s Day of Compassion in 2017, when I was a college senior. We visited an elderly home to share a bit of God’s love with the residents, and I had the added privilege to speak on behalf of our college group.

Recently, an opportunity came up for any volunteers on the staff team to join our Elderly Care Ministry and to preach the worship service message. I signed up to share God’s Word. I want to do my part in living out 2 Timothy 2:15,

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 

This Sunday, I’m planning to share from Matthew 11:28-30,

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Uvaldo Chavez is a campus minister, part of Berkeley acts2fellowship.

Interhigh: Why We Do It

What is an hour worth? To the staff at InterHigh, a group that includes software engineers and professionals in the healthcare industry, an hour is worth a lot. They work full weeks, but in their downtime, they’re not resting. Instead, they’re learning songs, writing messages, getting feedback on those messages, and struggling to be creative.

It doesn’t always pay off. Megan H., a staff member in InterHigh, shares, “One time we had a small group sharing with 3 girls. Most of them just stared down and didn’t say anything. We ended up talking a lot while they looked bored, so we ended our sharing time early.”

So why keep going? The three kids at this church belong to one of the 775+ Bay Area congregations that have less than 75 attendees. At these churches, it’s common to find a middle-schooler babysitting while her dad preaches, or a high-schooler attending a service in a language that he doesn’t speak. We might not have much to offer them, but if we don’t try, who will?

InterHigh staff Ben L. with student

InterHigh staff Ben L. with student

So we keep serving: in Castro Valley, San Jose, Richmond, Oakland. And amidst week after week of faithfulness, God works. We’ve gone from 9 churches in 2010 to 56 churches in 2017. 385 ministers have served in IH to-date, driving a total of 303,200 miles, which span a farther distance than from here to the moon!

There’ve been more than 100 salvations since IH began. But often, the person who witnesses these salvations ends up being equally blessed, if not more.

Megan H. with fellow InterHigh staff and their students

Megan H. with fellow InterHigh staff and their students

Megan shares, “Every time I give it my all for these students, I’m saying, I want to be ‘great before the Lord,’ rather than before people. At least I can give them a positive impression of a youth group and hope that they will remember at least 1 thing each week that we teach them.”

Jesus once told a story about a shepherd who left the 99 to seek 1 lost sheep. Who are we to do any less?


Echo Lu is a youth minister, part of Area Youth Ministry.


Ministry from a college student's perspective

Live Christmas music floats through the room—there’s the sound of joyful conversation and laughter. College students are making jokes with various grandmas and grandpas they just met about the recent Cal versus Stanford game. There’s something rare about this intergenerational fellowship. But we hope more and more people get to experience something precious like this, which is why we’re continuing to add to the number of elderly care centers we visit through our Elderly Care Ministry (ECM).

This past December, some of our college students had the opportunity to go to McClure Care Home and minister to elderly residents by putting on a Sunday worship service. This was our first time ever visiting McClure Care Home, so it was an exciting new venture for our students to take on together. They prepared Christmas ornaments as gifts for the residents, a music program complete with instruments and singing, and a message.

John Lin, a senior in our MakeNew fellowship was thankful that a lot of residents were attentive to the message and even sang along with them. As he was preparing his message on Matthew 9:1-3, he noted, “I was really blessed writing my message. It really solidified my understanding of the Bible in that passage…I have to be able to preach to myself before preaching to others. And I think just writing a message, even if you don’t give it, is something everyone should do. It’s a really good experience.”

He said it was really special for him and his friends to work together—“we set up everything and each person got to own a different task. There was something dynamic about moving together as a group. It’s not one person doing it by themselves, but it’s really all of us trying to follow Jesus together.”

Berkeley MakeNew Senior Homegroup (Fall 2018)

Berkeley MakeNew Senior Homegroup (Fall 2018)

Dare2Share LIVE with Greg Stier and Flame

In October 2018, Dare2Share LIVE was hosted at Gracepoint in Alameda. This was a national, live, 1-day, multi-site simulcast training and outreach event. We were one of 100+ simulcast locations nationwide where tens of thousands of teens and adult leaders were inspired and equipped to share their faith. On the same day, all attendees were released into the surrounding Bay Area to start spiritual conversations and collect canned food to benefit Cityteam Oakland.

youth_praise_dare2share.jpg

It was awesome to see a new generation of students getting excited about sharing the gospel with their friends and neighbors. We had students and youth group leaders joining us from all over the Bay Area, Sacramento, and even Chico (one group even woke up as early as 5AM to drive down for the event)! We ended up having 580 attendees, and there were 7 salvation decisions. Praise the Lord!

ImpACT Christmas Celebration

What is ImpACT?

Impact brings the Gospel to inner city youth who would never have a chance to hear about Jesus. We also provide academic boost on the side. In a world where a lot of youth do not have very many positive role models outside of their immediate family, Impact is the one place they can see what is possible outside of their family.

Why we do it

2018.12.20-Orozco-Family-Picture-033.jpg

My wife Vanessa and I have been serving in Impact for the past 6 months. I come from an inner city background with family that was in jail and involved in gangs. I joined Impact knowing that these kids come from similar circumstances. The fact that they can come to a place like Impact where they can be safe and learn about God is an incredible privilege that I get to have.

We give messages, lead small groups, do setup and takedown, and lead workdays. During our first Sunday, there were only 8 kids. Now, there are about 25 inner city kids who come each week.

How did that number grow? We have been doing outreach at different schools where the principals have been very welcoming and inviting us to Back-To-School nights and parent-teacher meetings. We want to see the program grow to 40 students.

We’d love to expand Impact and keep up with students over the years so that they don’t fall through the cracks. It’s really sad when they finish 5th grade as very few of them transition to our middle school programs and other churches. We want to figure out a better transition for them.

Impact Christmas Celebration

This past December we had Impact Christmas Celebration. An event that the students can invite their family and friends to see them sing songs and put on a performance to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many of the students and parents came out of the event very grateful!

Here are some stories:

  • A mom of a student with ADHD was really thankful that we can be with him and love him.

  • Another kid who has been coming for a couple years brought about 10 family members: uncles, grandparents and more.

  • One dad hasn’t been able to really connect to his son and he’s been trying to get him to stop playing so many video games. When this dad found out about Impact, he was really glad his son can come because Impact enabled his son to connect with other people, learn about God, and spend less time playing video games.


Danny Orozco and his wife, Vanessa, lead our Impact ministry, which provide academic enrichment, mentoring, and spiritual guidance to Oakland youth