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The Key to Quality Ministry

I've been on the job around 2 months now and there is still A LOT to learn. Nearly every day I learn another key lesson that will help me through pastoral life. So far major mistakes have been avoided but are sure to come. Despite all this, I really believe I've found the key to quality ministry. It's nothing profound or new but is very basic: visitation.

There is nothing like going to someone's home and talking with them. I've found that people are much more willing to open up and share their personal lives because they are in a comfortable environment. It shows them that you care about their lives and lays the groundwork for a deeper relationship and partnership for the future. Every family I've visited has been profoundly thankful and appreciative of our time together and it's been one of the most rewarding aspects of my ministry so far.

I know that visits are expected when you first arrive in a church but not as much as the years pass by. However, I hope and plan on making visitation a regular part of my weekly schedule because of how meaningful it is to everyone involved.


Scott A. said…
Any ideas as to the appropriateness of visitations by a youth pastor to his kids' homes? In my work I always enjoyed my visits to adults' houses, but visiting my youth felt... off, somehow. My senior pastor, however, was adamant that I do youth visitations (and my visiting them at lunch, at school, or events, or sports, didn't count).

Does anybody have some thoughts on this?

Asides from that awkward aspect, I loved visiting my members' houses, and they always seemed to love having me there. Visitation is a good thing.
David Hamstra said…
On general visitation: I try to do two in each of my churches per week, plus hospital/shut-in visits.

On youth visitation: I did this while serving as a volunteer youth pastor in Australia. It's kind of awkward at first, usually we ended up playing video games or doing some other activity. But by the second time around the kids are more willing to open up to you. They try not to show it, but they do appreciate it.
Anonymous said…
Are you discovering any difficulty getting into homes? I've heard that members are not as open to having the pastor visit as in earlier years.
trevan said…
I agree with all the discussion on youth visitation. Sitting down with the whole family is good but you won't get anywhere with the youth. I think playing basketball, video games, going to lunch, etc is the way to go. Trying to do formal things just won't cut it.

I haven't found that people aren't open to visits but scheduling them is the major problem. It's really difficult to find a time when the whole family is available and most of the time I haven't been able to sit down with the whole family in most instances because of a variety of reasons. If you wait for the ideal you'll never end up going so talking to at least one person in the family is good enough.

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