VISITING with people in their home or work environment, pastorally, is something I’ve been doing regularly for nearly twenty years. Every time we step into someone else’s environment we do so as guests with certain privileges, but also with certain responsibilities.
These following considerations are worthy of reflection for any of us who conduct visitation:
1. Pray before you arrive: it’s good to ensure our hearts are prepared and our minds are attuned. On the way to a home or workplace I’ll try and envisage what the environment might look like, prepare myself for the greeting I’ll receive, and just generally psych myself into being myself. It’s important to be relaxed.
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Pastoral care is more than simply help for the hurting. It is much more a holistic way of applying the discipleship process. And, indeed, pastoral care is globally the pastoral method integrating diverse aspects of prayerful action through fellowship within the activities of the life of a church. The church, from an interactional viewpoint, might exist to serve the community, but the pastor exists to “to shepherd… to take on the role of guiding, watching over, and protecting the entire flock.”
I know this sounds like an upside down topic but bear with me. Many senior pastors all over the country have the title of Senior Pastor/Leader but many do not have the authority to truly lead the churches they serve. The consequences of this lack of leadership at the local church level are too devastating to ignore.