Christian Unity Baptist Church

Visitation Ministry

OVERVIEW

The Visitation Team makes contact with and personal visits to those who are home bound, hospitalized, in a convalescent center, or recuperating at home. Visitation may be for the short term or ongoing, providing encouragement and support to those who may feel isolated or alone.

MISSION

It is our mission to extend the compassion of Jesus Christ to those who are hospitalized, confined in their homes or otherwise detained.

VISION

To provide comfort, care and companionship for the hospitalized, home bound, assisted living people and members of Christian Unity Baptist Church.

GUIDING SCRIPTURE

James 5:14-15 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Ministry Goal:

  1. To offer prayer and encouragement to people during times of hospitalization, outpatient surgery, and extended illness. Members of our team visit hospitals, nursing and assisted living facilities and in the home depending on the situation.
  2. To let the world know that people matter to both God and our church. Visiting them lets them know we as a church care.

Privacy Note: Please be careful to respect the privacy of all the individuals you visit. Never visit in a private home or a care facility or a hospital without the individual’s expressed consent. Be careful to maintain their privacy in filling out these forms and sharing them with others. Also, you must familiarize yourself with and observe all the privacy rules of the institutions in which you minister.

Guidelines for effective hospital visitation

Hospitalization presents a unique opportunity for you as a leader in your church to minister. Perhaps at no other time in a person’s life do spiritual issues warrant so much concern. Following are some practical suggestions for hospital visitation.

Observe Hospital Rules

• Use the parking area designated for visitors.
• Obtain room numbers.
• Make visits only during hospital visiting hours.
• Identify yourself to the nurse.

Observe the patient’s environment

• Look for signals. Notice any call lights above the door or signs attached to the door, such as “Universal Precautions” or “No Visitors.” If the signs are there, consult with the nurse or leave a note and some devotional material with the nurse.
• Blend visit with the patient’s treatment schedule. The patient’s day begins early with blood tests, treatments, and altered meal schedules.
• Ask yourself, “How do I make the best use of the time?”

Observe Good Hospital Manners

• Knock for permission to enter and wait for an invitation to enter the room.
• Focus on the patient once you are in the room.
• Position yourself in the line of the patient’s vision.
• Introduce yourself to the patient.
• Let the patient invite a handshake.
• Sit down only at the invitation of the patient.
• Never sit on the bed.
• If you arrive at mealtime, make your visit brief.
• Let the patient do most of the talking.
• Instead of asking, “How are you feeling?” you might ask, “How are things going today?”
• Avoid being drawn into speculation about the patient’s physical condition or hospital procedure.
• Make short visits (Normal visits should last 5 to 10 minutes depending on relationship, purpose, and the patient’s state of health).
• Do not wake a sleeping patient. Leave a handwritten note along with a devotional magazine.
• When it is time to leave, offer a prayer with the patient’s permission, and, when possible, hold the patient’s hand or gently place your hand on the patient’s arm or shoulder.
• When praying, be comprehensive and specific. Pray for the patient’s freedom from pain, family concerns, and God’s will to be accomplished in this sickness and recovery.

When not to visit?

• When you have a cold or other illness (call, send a card, and arrange for others to visit).
• When you are going out of obligation instead of love.
• When you have unresolved issues with the patient that would keep the visit from being helpful.
As you make this important visit, remember that you go as a representative of the Lord.

Guidelines for home visitation

Inside the Home

Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Once inside the home, you can look for visible things to build a friendly conversation with. For example: musical instruments, trophies, pictures, etc. Begin building a relationship with the prospect by talking about the things they like. Remember to retrieve any information that may be used for follow up and ministry. Do not take notes in front of the prospects. Stay focused on ministry to the individual. Listen for feelings, attitudes, perceptions and values as well as for facts. Pay attention and avoid interrupting. Never tune people out because you don’t like them, you disagree with them, or you find them dull. This time should not be rushed although you should not overstay your welcome either. Be Spirit led and use good judgment.

The Church Guest

Matthew 22:9-10 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.‟ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
The church guest is one of the best prospective members we have. Remember the contact should be made within thirty-six hours after their visit if possible. This is because 60% of first time visitors will return if the contact is made within thirty-six hours, while only 15% will return if you wait until the end of the week.

Inactive Members

James 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Inactive small group and church members are another resource for visitation. Don’t get discouraged when dealing with inactive members. You should be aware that it is likely to require six to ten hours of visitation to move into ministry with the inactive.

Leaving the Home

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, …
Do not end your visit with a reason you must leave. (i.e. We have a meeting to go to, we have more visits to make, I’ve got to get home, etc..) The prospect should feel special enough that you have designated this time just for them. Praying with the prospect is a good way to conclude the visit, but always ask permission to pray for them and never call on them to pray, some people will be very uncomfortable with that.
Guidelines for keeping records for Assimilation

Colossians 4:9… They will tell you everything that is happening here.
The report back and record keeping are very important ingredients. A report back session gives opportunity to share about our ministry time for purposes of follow up ideas and prayer.
It is vital the information retrieved will be useful.

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