When we are in town, Tuesday morning is one of my favorite times in the week. It started a couple of years ago when one of our Senior men lost his wife.
A couple of us were talking about what we could do to help him keep himself busy so as not to be alone all the time.
We decided to take him to visit some of our shut-ins on Tuesday morning and then take him out to lunch.
After a week or two we invited a few other men to join us. Now, every Tuesday, anywhere from 10-16 of us meet at 9:00 A.M. We sit around a table and chat for a while, we spend some time in prayer, then we go out to make our visits.
Our ladies have become involved by making cookies for us to take to the people we visit. We visit shut-ins, people in hospitals, members who are struggling with their faith, and people who have been guests at our services.
We meet back at a selected place for lunch each week, and we talk about our visits. Invariably, each week someone comments that this work brings us more encouragement and joy than those we visit.
It is a blessing to me as a preacher, not only to make the visits but to be able to spend time with the men who are a part of this group as well. Hopefully, you can see why this is such a special time.
I have heard some preachers say, “I don’t ‘do’ visitation, or I don’t enjoy making visits!” One of my favorite preachers, as well as one of my favorite people, is brother George Bailey. I asked him on one occasion what he believed was the most important work a preacher did outside of standing in the pulpit preaching? He said, very quickly, and without much thought, “Visiting!”
If you visit regularly, you already know all of this. If you do not visit regularly, I would like to encourage you to begin this week making visits, for the following reasons.
(1) God commands us to visit. (James 1:26-27)
(2) Because we have a ministry to fulfill. (2 Timothy 4:3)
(3) We should be an example to others. How can we encourage our members to visit if we do not? (Insert all the “One Another” passages here)
(4) Your life will be blessed. Every time I visit, my goal is to encourage others, but I am always greatly encouraged. Sure, there are the occasional complaints, but the overwhelming response is positive.
(5) Many people are lonely. Many people in our communities may go for days without seeing anyone else. When we visit, with a smile on our face, and a kind word, we bless the lives of those who see us.
(6) It will strengthen your preaching. The more we are around our people, the more we can identify with what is going on in their life.
(7) It will help you build a lasting ministry. Many of our sermons preached from the pulpit will be forgotten, but the sermons we preach with our life will always be remembered!
Preachers, let’s get out among our people this week and make some visits. It will do our heart, and the Kingdom a lot of good. I can't wait for Tuesday morning to get here!!