1. Define Christian Visitation.
Christian visitation is an act of kindness expressed by ministering through personal fellowship with individuals outside the church setting.
2. As a member of the church family, what are your responsibilities with regards to other members?
We are all members of the church family. Just like in your natural family, we each need to show concern and love for other members of the family who are discouraged, sick, bedridden, or who have recently moved.
3. Discuss with a group the spiritual benefits of Christian visitation from the following perspectives:
a. Spiritual Growth
It is important to establish a relationship with Lord before making preparation to visit. Without this aspect in place, such a visit will become more of a social event, rather than a spiritual one. As a result, the personal connection that is needed for their spiritual uplifting may not occur.
b. Personal Growth
Time well spent in visiting others will play a role in your personal growth. We must keep in mind that our visits should encourage one to move from one level of their spiritual walk to the next. By maintaining that connection, they will come to understand that they are loved, appreciated, and thought of. To witness these things firsthand will help your personal growth as well.
4. Discover how to utilize Christian visitation as a tool for church health and determine how your church can utilize this information.
We are in Christian Warfare. We need to be like the Marines who leave no one behind on the battlefield. A healthy church pays attention to every member/attendee and helps those who can't or choose not to attend for various reasons. There is little point evangelising to bring new people if we just let the existing people drift away uncared for.
The first step in a visitation ministry is figuring out who to visit. These people are often nearly invisable because you don't see them in church or at church events. Start by thinking about who is missing that you know. Next talk to your pastor, church clerk, and church elders. (Elders are generally responsible for visitation ministry in most Adventist churches). Relatives are a good source of information as well.
Next step is to develop an intentional plan to connect with the people on the list. For some people (like long term illness) a schedule will be helpful, while other people will need a visit due to unexpected circumstances.
The goal of Christian visitation is encourage people. This happens in different ways depemding on the situation. Showing them that their church family members care may encourage to discover and observe members who have not been in church and take steps to maintain contact with them.
5. Discover how your local church can create and utilize a list of sick and homebound members. With a group, discuss and evaluate the types of undertakings that are in place to address their needs.
6. Discuss with a group the biblical context of four of the following texts as they relate to Christian visitation.
a. Matthew 25:36
|Matthew 25:36 (NKJV)|
|I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.|
Jesus expressed the importance of rendering good to others.
b. James 5:13-16
|James 5:13-16 (NKJV)|
|Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.|
The call to the elders to pray is expressed with instructions to anoint individuals for healing of the sick in the name of the Lord.
c. Galatians 5:14
|Galatians 5:14 (NKJV)|
|For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”|
Love your neighbor by showing acts of kindness through visitation.
d. 1 John 3:17
|1 John 3:17 (NKJV)|
|But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?|
If your brother is in need, visit to inquire of his needs.
e. James 1:27
|James 1:27 (NKJV)|
|Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.|
Visit those who are lonely, the fatherless and the widowed.
f. Philippians 2:4
|Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)|
|Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.|
We ought to be concerned about other, just as we are concerned about ourselves.
g. Or a text of your choice
7. Briefly describe the following five main aspects of visitation:
c. Reading the Bible
8. Briefly describe the following types of visitations:
a. Soul winning
This type of visitation is designed to bring the good news to one who may not be an avid church-attending individual.
This type of visitation is designed to reach out to members of your church and other people you know, demonstrating the love and principles that the church is grounded on. This tends to further strengthen believers relationship with the Lord.
This type of visitation is designed to reach out to those who are sick and have not been seen in a while.
This type of visitation is designed for those who are unable to physically come to church for any reason.
This type of visitation is designed to reach out to new families of members who are new in town.
f. Inactive member
This type of visitation is designed to follow up with those who have not been in attendance at church for some time.
This type of visitation is designed to reach out to those who might feel let down, have lost confidence, or are disheartened for whatever reason. A visit can help lift a person's spirit and restore enthusiasm.
9. Role play two of the visitations in the previous requirement.
Some practice will help you with knowing what to say and with dismissing any nerves.
10. Read Matthew 9:18-35. Briefly describe the interaction Jesus had with those He encountered who were sick. What was His reaction towards them?
You can read this story at BibleGateway.
Jesus welcomed the sick. He surrounded himself with heavy compassion for those who sincerely sought healing. He ministered by healing them, which made his earthly ministry that much more effective and receptive to those who did come, as well as those who sought after Him.
11. With a group, organize a special program that places emphasis on the love of Christ. Visit a facility where people would enjoy knowing that someone cares enough to come and present a program.
12. With a group, develop an effective worship experience that can minister to someone facing the following situations:
Able or unable to communicate
With or without a mental deficit
13. Briefly describe the following types of behavior required when planning your visit:
a. Go two-by-two
For safety reasons, it is recommended to travel with others.
b. Know the names of those who will be visited
It is good practice to know the name of the person you are visiting, even if you are not familiar with the individual. This approach tends to assist in the creation of a more welcoming environment.
c. Be respectful and courteous
Maintain a smile on your face, a cheerful spirit, and a kind heart. These attributes will go a long way by making those you visit more receptive to your presence.
d. Be positive and affirming
Let the individual know they are loved and appreciated by acknowledging something special about them. It may be their hair, healthy skin, something that will assist in making them feel better without regard to the condition that they are in. This will assist in their healing process as well.
e. Be sensitive and peaceful
Be careful not to force your objectives for visitation on an individual. Your attitude should be welcoming and peaceful.
f. Avoid verbal excessiveness
When visiting, place yourself more on the side of listening, rather than doing most, if not all of the talking. This would become more of a preaching session then a visitation.
g. Be clean and neat
Every Pathfinder should be clean and neat whenever possible. If visiting the sick, wash your hands and don't go if you have a cold. In many situations the visit may take the form of a mini worship service, so of course you want to present well.