The Visitors

Phineas and Jonathan discuss one of the major tasks of pastoral ministry – visitation. Visitation is a major part of pastoral work for those serving a parish and can be a major source of tension and difficulty. It can also be a place of hope and healing. Phineas Marr is the pastor of the 1st Baptist Church of Kenosha, WI and an adjunct professor at Carthage College.


The Deep Conversation

What does it mean when your pastor calls and asks to make a visit? What does it mean when someone complains that the pastor did not visit or does not visit enough? There are a whole bevy of expectations and demands and assumptions that come along with the idea of visitation for better or worse.

For some, the pastoral visit can become simply a time for chatting or having a friendly conversation. For others it is a time to really bring an awareness of God’s presence and activity into the life of the person being visited. There are multiple reasons for a pastor to make a visit.

Yet there are too many stories of parishioners expecting more than is possible of the pastor. There are many stories of the pastor not responding, not setting healthy boundaries, and simply going with the demands of parishioners and this leads to burn-out. We need to constantly be thinking and working out an approach to visitation and pastoral care that works for the pastor as well as the congregation.

A visit can be a sacred moment or a draining moment. We hope it is always a moment blessed by God.


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Next episode, Jonathan is joined by Father Anthony, Doug Perkins to get angry, talk scripture, and discuss what they are into.