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Pastor Visitation at Hospital

dc bigdaddy

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
My wife's uncle had a stroke and is in Vidant in Greenville. My wife's aunt said that their pastor doesn't make hospital visitations due to the large size of the church. Is this normal for larger churches?
 

41magfan

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I would think the size of the congregation would dictate what's reasonable in that regard. If God saw fit to give Moses helpers (Elders) I don't see why that practice would be viewed as inappropriate today.
 

Crappie_Hunter

Ten Pointer
Contributor
I think it is the Pastors job to make sure everyone is ministered to, not necessarily to minister to everybody. Meaning like 41magfan said, elders, lay persons, other staff members can make sure everything gets covered.

That is one of the drawbacks of a large church, lack of connection.
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Our membership is well over 800 at any given time and can go over 1000 at times. A lot of them are elderly and frequent the hospital so I couldn't fault the pastor for having other church officers see some of them.
Our pastor has frequent trips to the hospital for health issues so he's well aware of how much a visit from someone means to a person who's in there.
 

nhn2a

Ten Pointer
We go to a large church with over 2000 members. We have 7 pastors on staff. On of the associate pastors full time job is hospital visitation but he is augmented by the deacons as well.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
My wife's uncle had a stroke and is in Vidant in Greenville. My wife's aunt said that their pastor doesn't make hospital visitations due to the large size of the church. Is this normal for larger churches?
Maybe not the head pastor in person for every visit. But, that doesn’t absolve the church from performing that ministry.

Someone made a comment about larger congregations...I’ll say if it’s a large enough congregation they should have processes in place...even with the Hospital ahead of time.

My brother lost his daughter last year, she was only two weeks old. She was at a NICU in a Lutheran affiliated hospital, an hour plus from home, attended to by either a Hindu or Muslim physician, and when the time came they knew to cal the Catholic priest for them to baptism and perform last rites without anyone asking about it. It ended up snowing so hard my brother baptized her himself because he thought the priest wouldn’t make it but the priest made it, about fifteen minutes after he baptized her.

Their parish had a grief ministry which also did a really nice job.

I guess what I’m saying is size is no excuse. In fact, it’s less of an excuse than a small congregation unless you solely focus on the guy that’s listed as the one in charge being there to visit you.
 

HotSoup

Twelve Pointer
So let me get this....the preacher, whom is paid well im sure "doesnt have time" to visit a member whom had a major life altering event in the hospital? What does he do all day then? People go to church on Sunday, for 2 hours and a 1 hour meeting on wdd or thurs where im from. Sure, he has other duties but one of those is supporting the members.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
So let me get this....the preacher, whom is paid well im sure "doesnt have time" to visit a member whom had a major life altering event in the hospital? What does he do all day then? People go to church on Sunday, for 2 hours and a 1 hour meeting on wdd or thurs where im from. Sure, he has other duties but one of those is supporting the members.
It isn’t “a member,” it’s all the time that a pastor can end up spending doing nothing but visit the sick.

My wife is a teacher at a preschool tied to a church. They provide all sorts of ministries, from card ministry to meals on wheels to new mother care. There’s a preschool.
There’s a handful of different music ensembles. They run a food drive type of ministry, a ministry to help homeless families, mission trips to poor rural areas in the US and mission trips abroad.
They have bible study and a men’s spirituality group, and probably host AA meetings and a softball league.

The pastor is the CEO of all of that. While she may or may not change the oil in the Church Van, she is the one who has to make sure and sign off on the decisions that keep the Church with a running Van. She isn’t directing the Pre-School, but when Mr & Mrs Williams get sore about the preschool directors decision, who does that get escalated to?
 

nontypical

Ten Pointer
My wife's uncle had a stroke and is in Vidant in Greenville. My wife's aunt said that their pastor doesn't make hospital visitations due to the large size of the church. Is this normal for larger churches?
Prayers sent for him.

I would think someone from the church should come pray over him and his family.
 

Randy

Ten Pointer
My oldest brother served as a pastor for 32 years. He always visited hospitalized congregation members. The last church he served at in Rowan County had a substantial number of elderly folks and he was on the road multiple days a week to hospitals in both Charlotte and Winston-Salem.
 

took

Ten Pointer
Contributor
I know most like to talk to their own pastor but don't hesitate to ask for the pastor that covers in the hospital; they have all denominations typically available and always one there covering that can meet your needs. I work in a hospital and find them all to be wonderfully dedicated and caring folks.
 

DFisher

Eight Pointer
So let me get this....the preacher, whom is paid well im sure "doesnt have time" to visit a member whom had a major life altering event in the hospital? What does he do all day then? People go to church on Sunday, for 2 hours and a 1 hour meeting on wdd or thurs where im from. Sure, he has other duties but one of those is supporting the members.
First, define well paid. As a board member and finance committee member of our church, well paid is a relative term. Compared to what? I know what our preacher makes, and it is far from what he could make in the outside world. We are blessed to have 3 ministers on staff that are willing to do the Lord's work for so much less than the rest of us would take to do our daily jobs.

Second, what does he do all day? Well, ours has to prepare for 3 services a week, in addition to pretty well running the church 8 hours a day, while the board members that are "in charge" are working our other jobs for more money. He works with cleaning crews, the maintenance folks that are in and out, talks on the phone a bunch, and ministers to walk-ins a great deal. He makes sure the music teams and volunteers are lined up for services. Last week was a work day, and he spent a lot of time getting ready for that, then supervising the crews on Saturday. I could go on and on. Now, we are blessed in that he does find time to visit the sick, but it comes at a high cost of time.

Finally, yes the people are in church 3 hours per week, max. Most are 1 hour. But our preacher is there 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, minimum, and the job doesn't stop when he gets home. Do we need to get him some help, yes. But that cost time and money, something most of the 3 hour visitors are not willing to support, either with time or money. Remember the 80/20 rule. 20% of the people do 80% of the work, give 80% of the money, blah, blah, blah. Volunteers and donators are the minority.

Sorry for the rant, but just wanted to throw a little info from someone who knows what our preacher does all day. Quite honestly, preaching, as most know it, is the least that he does.
 

HotSoup

Twelve Pointer
First, define well paid. As a board member and finance committee member of our church, well paid is a relative term. Compared to what? I know what our preacher makes, and it is far from what he could make in the outside world. We are blessed to have 3 ministers on staff that are willing to do the Lord's work for so much less than the rest of us would take to do our daily jobs.

Second, what does he do all day? Well, ours has to prepare for 3 services a week, in addition to pretty well running the church 8 hours a day, while the board members that are "in charge" are working our other jobs for more money. He works with cleaning crews, the maintenance folks that are in and out, talks on the phone a bunch, and ministers to walk-ins a great deal. He makes sure the music teams and volunteers are lined up for services. Last week was a work day, and he spent a lot of time getting ready for that, then supervising the crews on Saturday. I could go on and on. Now, we are blessed in that he does find time to visit the sick, but it comes at a high cost of time.

Finally, yes the people are in church 3 hours per week, max. Most are 1 hour. But our preacher is there 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, minimum, and the job doesn't stop when he gets home. Do we need to get him some help, yes. But that cost time and money, something most of the 3 hour visitors are not willing to support, either with time or money. Remember the 80/20 rule. 20% of the people do 80% of the work, give 80% of the money, blah, blah, blah. Volunteers and donators are the minority.

Sorry for the rant, but just wanted to throw a little info from someone who knows what our preacher does all day. Quite honestly, preaching, as most know it, is the least that he does.
Thanks for the insight on what a preacher does all day. I guess im just used to being in a church where the preacher is always there for you. When I was in a trauma and in chapel hill, the preacher was there. When my mother had brain surgery at duke he was there, many more instances can be given but those are but 2 examples and its a 1.5hr drive for each. Im not used to mega churches so I guess things work different.
 

DFisher

Eight Pointer
Thanks for the insight on what a preacher does all day. I guess im just used to being in a church where the preacher is always there for you. When I was in a trauma and in chapel hill, the preacher was there. When my mother had brain surgery at duke he was there, many more instances can be given but those are but 2 examples and its a 1.5hr drive for each. Im not used to mega churches so I guess things work different.
I grew up the same way, my friend. Small southern baptist church of about 50-75 people. Preacher Hardy never missed a beat, was there if you were in the hospital every time, and most times when you were just feeling ill at home. I really miss that. Our current church has a membership of about 600, and average attendance each Sunday is about 300-320. We are still small-town compared to the mega-churches, but can't operate that way any more. I can't tell you how fortunate we are to have the preacher we have. He, along with our small staff, are true blessings. But yes, I miss the old days and old ways!
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
Seems to be more and more so these days.... I had one tell me that is the role of the deacon..... Not sure I support that view.
Nothing in Bible that says it’s wrong for a Pastor to visit the hospital BUT the roles of deacons should be to do such. The literal meaning of deacon comes from the Greek word “Diakonos” and simply means to serve!

The reason they were appointed in NT is because the Pastors/elders were neglecting their study of the Word and time with the Lord by waiting on/serving people.

Of course American Churchianity as taught and allowed otherwise

As a ordained Pastor, my question to the OP would be “why is it so important to you that the Pastor visit you instead of a deacon?”

Not putting you down for it.. perhaps y’all are good friends BUT if I were a betting man I would say it’s rooted in tradition

Sadly, we have all been taught indirectly and sometimes directly that a “Pastor” is a holy man or that he has a special connection to God. Remember pastoring is a role.m and calling. however The pastor is also first a sinful man who was saved by Christ and is not super spiritual nor does his prayers do any more good than another Christians.
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
Some good responses to the post and some really “not so good”! Especially the “what do they do all day?”(which yes I see has been retracted)

I could go on a rant about the work of a Pastor since I’m now working mid level management for a major corporation HOWEVER... not the point

Point is ... read back through all the posts HOW MANY RESPONDED WITH A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE? A few did

Most were opinionated human responses
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
By no means am I bashing or saying don’t respond because you don’t know the Bible.

I meant it’s sad because “we” including me have done such a poor job of Biblical discipleship. Instead we’ve created “members” where opinion and $ trumps Scriptural authority. 1 of the many reasons I’m not vocationally serving (15 years and burnt out... not too mention the emotional, mental, physical, and financial toll I took on me and my family)
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
Some good responses to the post and some really “not so good”! Especially the “what do they do all day?”(which yes I see has been retracted)

I could go on a rant about the work of a Pastor since I’m now working mid level management for a major corporation HOWEVER... not the point

Point is ... read back through all the posts HOW MANY RESPONDED WITH A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE? A few did

Most were opinionated human responses
Humans make up the Church, and biblical interpretation is well, up for interpretation.

Matthew 25 is one of the more well known verses out there, but in my understanding it’s a general call to minister the sick.

James 5:14 specifically mentions Priests (Pastor.)

Growing up Catholic the churches always had a small crew of extraordinary ministers to deliver communion to those that were home bound, hospitalized, etc...I volunteered at a Nursing Home in HS and there were people every Sunday to bring communion to residents. The priest was on a monthly rotation with the other major churches in town where each took a Sunday to perform a service at the Nursing home.

Getting back to James 5, visits from priests were for last rites, Anointing of the Sick, typically performed when it looks quite bleak. Only a Priest can perform those, and generally there’s one on call at the Hospital for that reason.

As I reflect more on it, I think about how much joy the Eucharistic Ministers brought. I also get my uncles sense of humor when the Priest brought him the Eucharist; he was dying of cancer, and when he saw the Priest he commented “I’m not doing well but I didn’t think things were that imminent.” Gallows humor, or something.

If everyone agreed on the best way to do it we wouldn’t have as many denominations as we do, would we?
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
Humans make up the Church, and biblical interpretation is well, up for interpretation.

Matthew 25 is one of the more well known verses out there, but in my understanding it’s a general call to minister the sick.

James 5:14 specifically mentions Priests (Pastor.)

Growing up Catholic the churches always had a small crew of extraordinary ministers to deliver communion to those that were home bound, hospitalized, etc...I volunteered at a Nursing Home in HS and there were people every Sunday to bring communion to residents. The priest was on a monthly rotation with the other major churches in town where each took a Sunday to perform a service at the Nursing home.

Getting back to James 5, visits from priests were for last rites, Anointing of the Sick, typically performed when it looks quite bleak. Only a Priest can perform those, and generally there’s one on call at the Hospital for that reason.

As I reflect more on it, I think about how much joy the Eucharistic Ministers brought. I also get my uncles sense of humor when the Priest brought him the Eucharist; he was dying of cancer, and when he saw the Priest he commented “I’m not doing well but I didn’t think things were that imminent.” Gallows humor, or something.

If everyone agreed on the best way to do it we wouldn’t have as many denominations as we do, would we?
The verbiage “Priests” you speak of is from a Catholic interpretation which is very different than the Protestant interpretation. Regardless of human interpretations... which are subjective. Scripture is Gods Word and is absolute and means 1 thing. Otherwise, the Bible be used to justify any and every thing.

Anyway... with all do respect to your beliefs.. the OP was obviously speaking of Protestant church
 

red neck richie

Twelve Pointer
The verbiage “Priests” you speak of is from a Catholic interpretation which is very different than the Protestant interpretation. Regardless of human interpretations... which are subjective. Scripture is Gods Word and is absolute and means 1 thing. Otherwise, the Bible be used to justify any and every thing.

Anyway... with all do respect to your beliefs.. the OP was obviously speaking of Protestant church
There is not a Catholic or Protestant section in heaven. Denominations are man made not GOD made.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
The verbiage “Priests” you speak of is from a Catholic interpretation which is very different than the Protestant interpretation. Regardless of human interpretations... which are subjective. Scripture is Gods Word and is absolute and means 1 thing. Otherwise, the Bible be used to justify any and every thing.

Anyway... with all do respect to your beliefs.. the OP was obviously speaking of Protestant church
Respectfully disagree (with exception to the references to the Sacrament of Last Rites).

Don’t you think it’s much more likely a Hebrew Reference (ie Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father?)

And while OP seas referring to a Protestant church, it isn’t a problem unique to Protestant churches...or even Christian congregations...It’s a concern that you alluded to earlier; how best to balance the biblical calling to minister and care for the sick, the overall needs of the congregation, and maintaining respect and boundaries so you don’t run the Pastor (Priest, Rabbi) into the ground.
 

Helium

Twelve Pointer
Respectfully disagree (with exception to the references to the Sacrament of Last Rites).

Don’t you think it’s much more likely a Hebrew Reference (ie Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father?)

And while OP seas referring to a Protestant church, it isn’t a problem unique to Protestant churches...or even Christian congregations...It’s a concern that you alluded to earlier; how best to balance the biblical calling to minister and care for the sick, the overall needs of the congregation, and maintaining respect and boundaries so you don’t run the Pastor (Priest, Rabbi) into the ground.
Didn’t mean to imply that is was just a Protestant problem.. way too much to get into via typing BUT big picture was Catholics interpretation of what a Priest is and the authority they hold etc versus a Pastor of a Protestant church

The term is correctly interpreted Elder and is usually plural for elders/pastors.

Overall point is... Biblically it was never meant for 1 man to take care of 100s of people. It’s not possible
 

rescue934

Twelve Pointer
My father was a southern baptist minister. He was always making sure folks were visited and needs met. But the church body itself must also tend to each other's needs, be it sickness, food, chores, money...........
To rely solely on the pastor is just not appropriate. Jesus himself relied on his disciples.
 

Soilman

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I was a deacon in my church that I just left in near New Bern. Small church, so the pastor had no problem visiting those in the hospital. However, he also emphasized that the deacons were ALSO responsible for such things. I can see how in a large church it could be overburdensome to expect the pastor to visit every sick person....BUT, he should have deacons, elders, etc. in place and in charge of different families that they should tend to.
 

woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Some of the conversation here is why im spiritual but have issues with large (heck some small) churches

Pastors/priests/ etc should minister and guide their flock

If you need folks to do business area stuff then hire them
I expect its more important to the members of a church that are in a hospital or at home, sick or possibly dying, that they see their pastor/preacher/ priest than to lie there thinking “well at least reverend so and so will make sure the church lawn is manicured “
 
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