The Value of Personal Visitation
The Value of Personal Visitation
Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy Basis for Visitation
The word “visit” is recorded 36 times in the King James Version and 26 in the New King James Version of the Bible. This amount of times underscores to me the importance of visitation. In fact, Christ states in Matthew 25:43, “I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” Additionally, the Lord’s brother James explains in James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Given the aforementioned, one can appreciate the example of the Apostle Paul in Acts 15:36 when he said to Barnabas, “Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” Furthermore, in the book Evangelism Ellen White stressed, “Not only is the truth to be presented in public assemblies; house-to-house work is to be done” (Evang. 431). Therefore, in keeping with the biblical and Spirit of Prophecy mandate to visit, the Ministerial Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, in light of the “Year of the Pastor,” has launched Operation Contact.
What Is Operation Contact?
Operation Contact is an initiative of the Ministerial Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, aimed at aiding and encouraging pastors to make contact with each other, each other’s family and each member as well as non-members within the Atlantic Caribbean Union territory. Also, it carries the objectives of nurturing and solidifying the pastor’s call to ministry; encouraging personal time with the Lord through daily prayer and Bible study; strengthening the pastoral family; fostering strong biblical preaching; embracing opportunities for ongoing professional growth and development and empowering members for effective service.
Visitation Is a Must!!
Undeniably and unarguably, pastors and elders cannot be effective in ministry without personal contact. Neither can churches be vibrant and mission driven without inward and outreach visitation. In considering Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, it can be said that it had a positive impact on them and others in Bethany. Even throughout the following years down to the current period has this positive impact continued. Personally, I have been blessed through the ministry of visitation. Therefore as an administrator, I am deliberate in carving out time for visits in the home and hospital with my wife, reaching out to members and non-members. However, with the launch of Operation Contact, my administrative colleagues and I have linked up with field leaders and pastors, in visiting members in the Turks and Caicos Mission, the Cayman Islands Conference and in the Bahamas. Accordingly, visitation gives a sense of satisfaction when we pastors and elders are able to minister to others especially, the seniors, retirees, sick and also members in general. Within the context of Operation Contact, I am able to encourage and affirm fellow pastors and, in some instances, mentor young pastors and interns. We actually learn from each other. However, members express “wow” and gratification that they are remembered and thought of. And that is what we want, among other blessings, for members to feel valued and appreciated. Without them there is no church. But more, we get to fulfill and address some of their needs whether for encouragement, understanding of doctrines and clarification of issues. It helps us to be sensitive and considerate of their needs. After all, Jesus was master at this and still is through us today. Therefore, let’s prove faithful in doing His biddings. Our church, mission, conference and union will be stronger.