Pastoral Visitation

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor Larry, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Reading another thread on the FFF sparked this thread. How do the pastors here work visitation??

    How have you taught your people and what do you expect from them in terms of visitation and calling?

    Hull's book "The Disciple Making Pastor" talks about people who expect the pastor to make every visit. He uses the example of someone in the hospital who has had 20 visitors but doesn't feel visited until the pastor shows up. He says that is the result of bad teaching. The pastor should be training others (i.e., discipling them) to do the work of ministry so that the visitation can be carried out. I must admit that I am persuaded by that. What does a pastor have to offer that a lay believer does not?? I tell my people that I have no special telephone line to heaven and taht my presence or speech does absolutely nothing that another believer's does not. When we fail to incorporate others in the visitation process, do we know (perhaps unwittingly) further the misconception that the Pastor is the one who can really get through and everyone else is just playing at the Christian life?? What think ye?
     
  2. Major B

    Major B
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    You are right, but the pastor who attempts to fix this is asking for termination. I've seen quite a few pastors try to fix this, I have seen NONE be successful, and all but one got another opportunity to pack and move.
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    Older folks are more unforgiving in this area than are the young ones. If you don't visit Aunt Sally she will never let you forget it.

    I had a lady upset with me because I didn't visit her in outpatient surgery when she had a toe operated on.

    I told her "Be Glad" because when you see me at the hospital visiting you - you know it's serious!"
     
  4. USN2Pulpit

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    Could this be an example of working with people that care, and let those that want to sit and take it easy do so.
     
  5. computerjunkie

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    Very true! We have a staff rotation schedule for hospital visits. Anytime anyone is in the hospital, they get a visit from someone on staff at our church. And our deacons are also on a rotation schedule, so generally someone will get a visit from a staff person AND a deacon.

    But, invariably, someone will complain because the pastor didn't visit. And it's generally the older members of the church.
     
  6. Trotter

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    It seems to be a proven fact that a pastor cannot be the only one to do sick visitation. Most of the pastors I talk to, and most that I have read, agree that once a church reaches "critical mass" (no pun intended), a pastor must enlist additional help. Otherwise, a church will tend to stall where it is and will not grow.

    What is that "critical mass"? Usually around 100-120, but sometimes up to 200. One man cannot do it all, even in a small church.

    It seems to me that the best thing to do is to reach an understanding, BEFORE a man accepts a pastorate, that this will eventually have to be done. Of course, some are exceptionally gifted in the area of pastoral care, and will not need to worry about such.

    Just my opinion... [​IMG]

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  7. j_barner2000

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    I am very fortunate to be serivng under a senior pastor who has been around a long time (over 50 years in the ministry). He has taught that the whole church is responsible to do the ministry of the church. He does make many of the hospital visits and since we have added a Music/ Senior citizens ministry director(another lay member of the staff) It brings us to 4 all part time staff members. We each are taking another member of the church and grooming them to visit. And when they are ready we ask them to recruit someone they can train. In this manner we are getting less grumbling and more serving. It does take a lot of time and prayer though.
     
  8. gb93433

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    Independence is created by training and proper leadership. Dependence is created by those who want to feel needed.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    In one church, I divided the membership up among the 7 deacons. It was their responsibility to visit the membership and relate withthem spiritually. I took care of hospital visitation. In some areas it is not easy for everyone to gain entrance in hospitals. For some reason, I loved the hospitals and nursing homes.

    I always made a point of greeting visitors to the church, and then introduced them to a deacon, who then followed up the visitation,,phone, card or a personal visit.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Gina B

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    Yikes! I'm one of those members who tells nobody I'm in the hospital, then sits there feeling sad for me because the pastor didn't visit. ROFL If it counts I never hold it against him! :D
    But...it's an expectation most people have. If you're going under anesthesia, and even a toe operation can mean anesthesia, it's a risk to your life. People don't seem to take that seriously, but it's true. You're basically dead on the table sustained by artificial means and that's scary. Anytime death is a possibility people look to an authoritative religious figure, and for us that's our pastors. We know them better than any other member, and have entrusted them to lead us spiritually, and that's something we don't have with other members as much as with the pastor. We want to be ready for death, whether we think that consciously or unconsciously, so it's YOU we trust and want to see. Unless there's an asst. pastor we know well. But gotta have the word pastor in there somewhere!
    Just a thought from one of your "members". [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  11. Major B

    Major B
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    I agree. The problem is following 50 years' worth of pastors who have done it the "old" way, and trying to change it without getting fired!
     
  12. gb93433

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    Major B, I know that experience perfectly. Some churches want to grow and some just sat they want to. Are we pastoring when we waste our time on churches that want comfortable Christianity. I do not call that pastoring in the biblical sense. You can't pastor people that don't want leadership nor growth.

    I can name many pastors who have been fired by churches that are too lazy to do anything. I was in a church where the leaders were the laziest bunch of people I have seen. They were proud and wanted a nice edifice. I attempted to help them grow but they complained. The church went from 90 to 220 in 20 months and I was asked to leave. I know another man who grew a chruch from 75 to almost 600 in 6 years. He was in Utah and began leading Mormons to Christ. But the die hard dead leadership didn't like all those former Mormons in the church so they asked him to leave. God did with him just as He did with me. If you believe God is sovereign then what He does with you is in accordance with His will for you.

    Pastoring is often more about politics and brand names than it is about Jesus and the fact that people are dying and going to hell. We often are doing little to confront them with the gospel.

    Jesus never pastored a church but He did kingdom work. It's not about the holy huddle. It's about discipleship. It's about the question. "Who's living for Jesus Christ because of our life.

    IF the average Christian were to disciple one person every two years of their life in Christ, we would have every believer that could name approximately 26 people. The fact is that anyone who disciples people will more than fill up the average church with people he has discipled in a lifetime.
     

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