Every good pastor and church will find themselves frequently visiting people in the hospital. At my church, we visit people who are in the hospital or shut-in every single day. Every church sets up their visitation ministry a bit differently. I explain how we set church’s visitation ministry here: How to Organize a Church Visitation Ministry. But, what do those individual visits look like? I recently gave our staff some best practices:
- Pray before you arrive. You are representing Jesus, ask how He wants to use you.
If you work at a church, or just about anywhere, you probably send and receive a lot of email. You’ve no doubt received some poorly written emails and likely have even sent a few yourself. Recently, I gave our church staff some suggestions for writing better email:
1. Send it “To” the correct people, that is who needs to receive the information and do something with it. We recommend filling in who you are sending the email to last, as it saves you from inadvertently sending the email before you are done.
There are not many seminars in New England geared towards helping pastors and church leaders grow their churches. This June, however, there is one conference designed to do just that. The New England Pastors Initiative is hosting it’s second annual conference, featuring guest speaker Dick Hardy. Dick is the founder of The Hardy Group (thehardygroup.org), an organization devoted to helping pastors navigate church growth challenges and remove obstacles to that growth.
This one day local conference, on Tuesday, June 13th, is designed to help pastors and church leaders create fresh momentum and energy in their ministries, promote and market their churches better within their communities, and so much more! In order to make the conference as accessible as possible, the cost is only $30, which includes a catered lunch.
If you are a pastor or church leader in New England you do not want to miss out on this special day! To register, or find out more information, simply go to nepastorsinitiative.org.
Leaders are learners, and one great way to learn is through listening to podcasts. Podcasts give us the ability to listen to leaders speak on topics in just about any area of life. Whether you want to learn more on running, history, cooking, business, music or church ministry, there is probably a podcast just for you. When you are driving in the car, heading out for a run, or even just doing errands around the house, listening to a podcast, on a topic you want to explore, is a great way to use the time. I try to listen as often as I can, typically consuming several hours worth of podcasts every single week.
As a pastor, here are some of my current favorites…
One of the most fundamental ministries that the church performs is visitation. A church, no matter how big or small, will have people who are sick, in the hospital, shut-in and in need of a visit. As a result, pastors spend a significant amount of time visiting people from their church and community. As the church grows the amount of visitation required can bury a pastor unless structures and systems are put in place to spread the load of visitation out. Developing systems ensure that the pastor does not burn out, but at the same time ensure people receive the care that they need. There are no doubt a variety of ways that a church could set up a visitation system but here is how one church takes on this need:
Visitation & On-Call Pastors – Every day there is one pastor that is assigned to do all the hospital visitation for that day. If the church is aware going into the day that someone is in the hospital, and in need of a visit, then this is the pastor that goes. Additionally, there is another pastor that is on-call each day. This pastor handles any pastoral care that cannot be planned ahead. This would include anyone who is rushed to the hospital or anyone who calls or walks in wanting to talk with a pastor.
This week our church had our four summer interns arrive. We’re privileged to be near both a seminary and a Bible college, so we always have interns coming and going, but I especially love when the summer interns show up. What makes our summer interns extra special is that they are full-time, which means they are able to see nearly everything that goes on behind the scenes. It is an amazing time of mentoring and growing for every student that is able to participate. But how exactly do we set the summer up so that every intern is able to learn as much as possible?
First, we have a formal application process. We are only able to take on four paid summer interns, despite the fact that we always have far more apply. To help us decide who gets to spend the summer with us, we have them fill out a preliminary application that asks them about their ministry goals, where they are at in life, and where they see God leading them. We only allow individuals who are pursuing full-time vocational ministry to be a part of our summer intern ministry. (To see the application that we use feel free to check out https://lccc.wufoo.com/forms/calvary-christian-church-internship-application/.)