Visitation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Does your church do visitation/soul winning? Is it only the pastor's job or deacon's job, or should we ALL visit the unsaved, the shut-ins, the sick, etc?

    Recently I saw where a church of 500 members only had 5 people who bothered to go on visitation. Those 5 people came back with 11 professions of salvation. My question is, where was the rest of the church?

    Is visitation a thing of the past?
     
  2. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    I think it gets overlooked a lot. My first pastorate was as a senior adult ministries pastor and visitation was the main way I ministered to the folks in my care. Quite often during the winter many of the widows would stay home from services, and would skip going to get groceries, when weather/roads were bad. So stopping by to drop off food or other needed supplies gave me a great excuse to visit with and pray with them. The job of deacons, from the example of Scripture, is to do those things. Elders (pastors) are to be devoted to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Whereas a deacon's main job (meeting physical needs) can open doors for some spiritual needs being met as a secondary objective I used those physical needs to get to do my primary objectives. I would often do Communion with folks who were in rest homes and unable to come enjoy that with the whole church.

    That said, everyone should be open to the Spirit's leading them to do these kinds of things. It may be a good way for you to minister to unsaved neighbors. I have enjoyed shared meals and shared yard chores with my neighbors and have had the opportunity to talk about faith issues, as well as offer prayer and support during difficult times.

    The church was told to go make disciples....not, sit on your hindquarters and wait for people to come to you.
     
  3. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    IMHO, I believe one needs to define his/her perception of "Visitation"; IOW, what precisely do you mean when you say "Visitation"?

    Do you mean a regularly-scheduled corporate church body activity in the sense of: "....We (corporately the local church) hold Visitation here on Thursday nights...."?

    Or, "....As members of this local body, each one of you, regardless of whether or not you hold some kind of office or position in this church, is expected to verbally witness to at least one individual outside of your immediate family (be it on a break at your job, etc.,) about his/her need of receiving Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior...."?

    Or some other variation (To list all possible variations/combinations would take up way too much space here!)?

    I'm not saying we should ONLY engage in what some term as "life-style evangelism," but OTOH, to state that, "X church must be really be spiritually dead! Why, they only had X people show up for Visitation last week! Can you imagine that!!!" isn't necessarily painting a 100% clear picture of "X church."

    Why?

    Well, what happens if some members of "X church" have to work on "Visitation" nights? This isn't a just a "M-F,9-5, " world any more [not that it ever really was IMO]. Should those that work "off-shifts" be looked down upon because, often through no fault of their own, ".....They didn't make it to 'Visitation.'"?
    (It could be that their "visitation" takes place at some other time of the day on some other day of the week, you know.")

    ........Just saying......
     
  4. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I agree with you completely, ktn4eg. Not everyone can make it to a specified time for "visitation" and that is understandable. On the other hand, some of us forget to witness unless we "schedule" it into our lives. I think we should pray each day for God to put us in the path of someone to whom we can witness, and actively seek opportunities to share our faith, besides just wearing a "Christian" T-shirt or telling someone to have a "blessed" day.

    I remember a sermon once when a pastor asked how many of us had shared the gospel with someone that week. NO ONE in the entire church had done so. Imagine how different our churches would be if every single person showed up even once a month to go visiting the lost.
     
  5. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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  6. SaggyWoman

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    I have been on "Scheduled Visitation" and I have been on visitation as needs arose or as I felt led to go visit. While I see the importance of both, the "led by the Lord" visitation and need based visitation, in my world, is a lot more effective.
     
  7. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Great Question...

    ...as a young pastor growing into my church in the early 70s, I learned the importance of visiting the sick, shut-ins, and even those who seemed to drop off the map from church attendance. With the stragglers, I was always able to show I missed them, care, and wanted them back. And while I would not compromise my values and beliefs, I always offered to do what was needed to make the church more comfortable and accommodating for them.

    If, however, they were not wanting to return, I actually offered suggestions for churches in the area that may fit what they were looking for and not finding at the church I was preaching at.

    It seems to me that visitation is a service that has almost disappeared from the grid of "hospitality" and that is a shame. I think the pastor and the members in the body who feel drawn to this ministry [visitation/hospitality] should work as a team to make any visits needs to keep the body alive and vibrant. A family that prays together will stay together, and I'm talking about the family of God/church.

    The pastor can't do it all, so help is not only needed, but GREATLY appreciated. :thumbs:

    Again, this is a great post and question. I look forward to more comments and feedback. :wavey:
     

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