Prioritizing Pastoral Visitation

One of the simplest ways to gain the respect and admiration of any child of God is to visit with them in a time of need. Many Christians can recall a time when a visit from their pastor was the very event that helped them the most in the midst of crisis. Though pastors know this, it can be the hardest thing to consistently perform in ministry!

Even though pastors are stretched in their responsibilities, they must be sure to make quality visits. Not only quality visits, but also various types of visits. Balancing the priority between these can be wearisome. In spite of the frustration that can frequently arise with the visitation portion of ministry, without a doubt, it is the most rewarding experience a pastor can have.

Let’s face it, some visits are more important than others. We are not saying that people are unimportant or less significant, but we are advocating that pastors prioritize who they visit, when they visit and how long they visit certain people. Consider the following…

#1 Church Visitors – When folks visit your worship service, they need a visit! As soon as is humanly possible they need the pastor, and preferably another church member, returning the visit. Even if it is just a minute or two at the door where a gospel witness can be reiterated, this type of visit is essential.

#2 Unsaved People You Are Asked To Visit – Occasionally a pastor will be asked to visit a friend or relative of a church member who is lost. It is very important that the pastor make the visit as soon as he can. Much prayer should precede this, but no time should be wasted by deferring this matter very long.

#3 New Members Of The Community – This is often over looked in the ministry. Through various sources, a pastor can keep up with who has just moved into the community. New move-ins are prime territory for cults. It is best to beat them to the door!

#4 New Converts – These people are in great need of direction and personal care. Frequent visits may be necessary to help disciple the newly saved. The time spent here is never wasted!

#5 The Sick – When someone is ill or hospitalized, a pastor should be sure to make an appearance. These visits are longed for in many cases. People may forget your sermon title, but they will not forget it when you visited them in the hospital.

#6 Elderly And Shut-Ins – The senior saints must not be neglected nor forgotten. They need attention from the pastor. Set a routine and stick with it! These visits are a lot of fun! Enjoy your time with these people!

#7 Church Members – Visit people in your congregation as often as common sense deems appropriate. Don’t play favorites, but spend quality time. Pastors build relationships and this is only solidified with personal visitation!

Conclusion

Visitation is vital to a thriving ministry. No matter how many things are competing for your time, if you are too busy to visit, then you are way too busy! Build a better relationship with people by spending time with them!

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Would you consider purchasing…

10573: Preaching & Preachers Preaching & PreachersBy Martyn Lloyd-Jones / Zondervan

A classic from one of the most dynamic preachers of this century! Originally delivered as a series of lectures, Lloyd-Jones’s essays capture the essence of powerful preaching. His insights on the shape and preparation of the sermon, the preacher’s relationship to the congregation, and more will give you much to ponder as you write your next sermon.

Originally posted 2011-01-26 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Heart To Heart With Pastor Ed Bowen – #5

Pastor Ed Bowen was saved on March 24, 1957 at a revival meeting at Horse Branch Church in Turbeville, S.C. at the age of 23. Brother Bowen has been married to his wife, Margaret, for over 54 years. After being ordained in 1960, Pastor Bowen went on to preach in various places until he became pastor of Cherryvale Baptist. Having been there for over 43 years, in 2000, he had to slow down a bit due to prostate cancer.

Though unable to do what he used to do, Pastor Ed has just changed venues. For over ten years now, he has been encouraging people via email. He has graciously agreed to be a contributing author to this website. This series of posts entitled, “Heart To Heart” are the fruit of his times with our Lord Jesus! If they mean as much to you as they do me, then EMAIL him and let him know about it!

Casting A Large Shadow

(Romans 14:7-8Romans 14:7-8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.  

WP-Bible plugin
) “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”  (KJV)

In this passage, the Apostle Paul directs us to the highest form of Christianity. That is, to live by others’ consciences, and considering one’s influence, whether it influences people to God or from God. Influence is like casting a shadow, it touches others, sometimes a great number, depending upon how many people we have an opportunity to be with or around. Influence is not something we can have when we want to have it and not have it when we don’t. We cannot lay aside our influence as we will. It is something which beams out of our lives as light from a lamp. It can be something very wonderful or very grievous. It can bring great delight or much grief. We always have more influence than we think we do.

I was thinking of a story my grandmother told us when I was a child. It was about an earthquake which struck this area about 1886. At that time, her family had stopped going to church. The Bible was in the home but high upon the shelf where it was never removed. She remembers as a child when the earthquake shook their house and her father came in the door of the house. Obviously frightened, he removed the Bible from the shelf, gathered the family around him and read the Bible and had prayer. The following Sunday he took his family to church. I can point back to that occasion and be grateful for an earthquake that influenced my grandmother to be the Bible woman she was. Her father’s shadow of influence has now reached from his own generation, to my grandmother’s, to my mother’s, to my own, then to my children’s, and to my grandchildren’s, and now, to our 9 great grandchildren. That is seven generations which has covered over 123 years. That is one man’s shadow of influence. My grandmother had 2 sisters and 2 brothers, so many more people were influenced by that single commitment, on a certain day in 1886. “He being dead yet speaketh,” as Abel of old.

I hasten to add that influence does not save. We still have freedom to choose for ourselves. Influence of godly parents and people give us the opportunity to make the right choices. A child can be reared in a Christian home and be lost forever. He must be born again. A godly influence enhances ones opportunity to make a decision for Christ.

There is another side of influence, that of evil influence. I’m sure you, as I, can think of all the trouble you’ve gotten into because someone influenced you to do wrong. It was your choice but you had help making it.  That is what we can do for each other… we can help others make the right choices though we cannot choose for them.

I related this story to an inmate at Wateree Prison one Saturday afternoon in about 1995. He responded to it by stating that no one in his family had ever attended church on a regular basis. I suggested that he could be the first in his family to lead in establishing a spiritual legacy. Who knows how many may be rightly influenced by such a decision made on a certain day.

Pastor Ed Bowen

Conclusion

I wholeheartedly agree with Brother Bowen. All of us cast a shadow. Some larger than others! As a pastor, the larger the potential of our influence. Oh, how we who pastor must be careful in our life so we can have a positive influence upon others!

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Would you consider purchasing…

562750: Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

By Hendrickson Publishers

This one-volume edition of a beloved classic features a trimmer size, and includes everything from the original multivolume commentary! (Only the KJV text has been eliminated to save space.) Combining practical application, devotional insight, and scholarship, Henry offers profound wisdom on the content, message, and nature of God’s divine revelation in Scripture.
Note: Print is very small.

Originally posted 2011-01-30 00:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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