Guest writer – Jerrie Barber
I was “trying out.” I had preached and was answering questions after services.
A kind, gracious, dignified, older lady asked, “If you come here to be our preacher, how much visiting will you do?”
It was a conflicted congregation. An unintentional interim had left a few months before. He followed a loved preacher who had stayed a long time and was a master at ministering to people. The theme of the questioning was, “If you come here, which side will you be on — mine or the other.”
My Reply to the Visitation Question
The elders and I have discussed this. We’ve been talking four months.
There is no visitation in my contract. As the preacher of this church, I won’t do any visitation.
Gail and I have discussed placing membership if we come here. We’ve talked with the elders about that.
After we place membership, as members of this church, Gail and I will visit. That’s what Christians do. We may go out to eat on Friday night and visit people in the Nashville hospitals. We’ll visit individually and as a family often.
Since my schedule is flexible, I may be able to visit more than some of you.
My answer, “I will visit about as much as you and other members of this church.”
The plan of Jesus for leaders in His church is not to do all the work but to train and prepare Christians to do the work of ministry.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11, 12).
It isn’t healthy when the preacher is expected to do most of the visiting.
When I worked with that congregation, I visited. I taught about serving others. I led classes and workshops to train Christians to be better listeners and helpers. Leaders don’t do all the work. They train others for the work of ministry.
We’ve been careful not to call our preachers, Pastor. It’s also important not to make the preacher THE Pastor and then wonder why the church follows the preacher more than the elders.
Read more about this: When Your Preacher Becomes THE Pastor.