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Thom Ranier: 15 Reasons Pastors SHOULD NOT Visit
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Post Thom Ranier: 15 Reasons Pastors SHOULD NOT Visit Old Time Country Preacher
1. Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.

2. It deprives members of their roles and opportunities. The second part of Ephesians 4:12 clearly informs us that ministry is for all those in the church. When the pastor does all or most of the ministry, the members are deprived of a God-given opportunity.

3. It fosters a country club mentality. ďWe pay the pastorís salary. The pastor works for us to do the work and serve us.Ē Tithes and offerings become country club dues to get served.

4. It turns a church inwardly. The members are asking what the pastor is doing for them, rather than asking how they can serve others through the church.

5. It takes away from sermon preparation. Those same members who complain that a pastor didnít put enough time into the sermon are the same ones who expect the pastor to visit them.

6. It takes away from the pastorís outward focus. If pastors spend all or most of their time visiting, how can they be expected to get into the community and share the gospel?

7. It takes away vital leadership from the pastor. How can we expect pastors to lead if we give them no time to lead since they are visiting members?

8. It fosters unhealthy comparisons among the members. ďThe pastor visited the Smiths twice this month, but he only visited me once.Ē

9. It is never enough. When churches expect their pastors to do most of the visitation, they have an entitlement mentality. Such a mentality can never be satisfied.

10. It leads to pastoral burnout. It is impossible for pastors to maintain the pace that is expected of all the members cumulatively, especially in the area of visitation.

11. It leads to high pastoral turnover. Burnout leads to pastoral turnover. Short-term pastorates are not healthy for churches.

12. It puts a lid on Great Commission growth of the church. One of the great growth barriers of churches is the expectation that one person do most of the ministry, especially visitation. Such dependence on one person leads to a cap on growth.

13. It leads pastors to get their affirmation from the wrong source. They become people-pleasers instead of God-pleasers.

14. It causes biblical church members to leave. Many of the best church members will leave because they know the church is not supposed to operate in this manner. The church thus becomes weaker.

15. It is a sign that the church is dying. The two most common comments of a dying church: ďWe never done it that way before,Ē and ďWhy didnít the pastor visit me?Ē
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Post bonnie knox
Well, Ole Timer, I think some of the mega-church celebrity pastors have it down pat. They live in mansions, they take a long summer vacation, have other speakers to fill in for them (to promote their latest book), they get hefty speaking fees for conferences, and really don't have time to get all smelly attending sheep. Besides, if you are drawing a crowd upwards of 3,000, you don't have time to visit all of them, so why visit any?

Ole Timer, I noticed you didn't post any commentary, but if you are the man I think you are, I just can't see you not dropping in on Sister Erma or Brother Clarence ever so often, especially when they take sick.
And I believe you would pay a visit to that wayward son of Brother William just to let him know you were praying for him and all (and mostly on account of how highly you think of Brother William). Tell me that ain't the truth.
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8/31/16 9:59 am


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Post c6thplayer1
Pastors that dont visit ???? We have never done it that way before. I like OT but he has never visited me. Evil or Very Mad Anyway I wish our church would grow. Cool Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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Post bonnie knox
Okay, I'm just going to call it like I see it. That was a very shallow and poorly thought-out article. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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Post I noticed one of the commenters referenced this verse bonnie knox
Jeremiah 23:2King James Version (KJV)

2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
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8/31/16 10:37 am


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Post bonnie knox
Quote:
It takes away from sermon preparation. Those same members who complain that a pastor didnít put enough time into the sermon are the same ones who expect the pastor to visit them.


Tell 'em, Ole Timer. Tell ta git their copy of Logos and git at air sermon prep sewed up in no time.
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8/31/16 10:50 am


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Post bonnie knox
Now, in fairness to Thom Rainer, he did have the word much at the end of his article title. In other words, he wasn't saying not to visit at all, but to have balance. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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Post bonnie knox
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.
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Post skinnybishop
bonnie knox wrote:
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.


No, actually its dead on accurate. That is exactly what Ephesians says that ministry office is for. I just wrote an 85 page paper on this very topic.

Most of the expectations for pastoral visitation are rooted in tradition and misunderstanding of Scripture.

Should a pastor visit? Sure. Should that be his primary responsibility? No, and there is no Biblical basis for arguments otherwise.

Acts 6 clearly establishes that ministry leaders should focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer. Visitation etc should be done by people designated for that role, within the local church.
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8/31/16 12:34 pm


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Post skinnybishop
bonnie knox wrote:
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.


Also, if you go back and check, the only time the word "pastor" (poimen, ποιμήν) occurs, in reference to a ministry office is in Ephesians 4:11. The next 2 verses describe the pastor's primary role:

"12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;"
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Post Cojak
bonnie knox wrote:
Well, Ole Timer, I think some of the mega-church celebrity pastors have it down pat. They live in mansions, they take a long summer vacation, have other speakers to fill in for them (to promote their latest book), they get hefty speaking fees for conferences, and really don't have time to get all smelly attending sheep. Besides, if you are drawing a crowd upwards of 3,000, you don't have time to visit all of them, so why visit any?

Ole Timer, I noticed you didn't post any commentary, but if you are the man I think you are, I just can't see you not dropping in on Sister Erma or Brother Clarence ever so often, especially when they take sick.
And I believe you would pay a visit to that wayward son of Brother William just to let him know you were praying for him and all (and mostly on account of how highly you think of Brother William). Tell me that ain't the truth.


Good comment, of course you and I warm a pew so we just might have a different approach.

I cannot help but look back at the pastors I knew growing up. The ones that kept a finger on the pulse of the church and visited the ones who needed the uplift, saw their churches grow.

I noticed you never said it should be the primary duty, and it should not be, but it definitely should be a vital part.

Just my opinion! Cool
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Post diakoneo
What exactly does a "visit from the pastor" supposedly do?

Is the pastor greater in power than any other member in the church?

Is his presence so grand and awe inspiring that just a visit from him changes everything?

It seems to me there is an implication toward Roman Catholicism if we think there is one member of the body's presence is more important and therefore more needed. Tradition trips us in many ways and we don't even realize it. Yes I visit people. Hospitals, homes, jails, wherever...

Under the old covenant the priests and prophets had a closer relationship with God. The new covenant says "we are a royal priesthood". The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. We are all qualified to encourage!
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8/31/16 1:48 pm


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Post Cojak
diakoneo wrote:
What exactly does a "visit from the pastor" supposedly do?

Is the pastor greater in power than any other member in the church?

Is his presence so grand and awe inspiring that just a visit from him changes everything?

It seems to me there is an implication toward Roman Catholicism if we think there is one member of the body's presence is more important and therefore more needed. Tradition trips us in many ways and we don't even realize it. Yes I visit people. Hospitals, homes, jails, wherever...

Under the old covenant the priests and prophets had a closer relationship with God. The new covenant says "we are a royal priesthood". The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. We are all qualified to encourage!


well for one thing it shows that the person is also important to the pastor as well as the LOrd.
For another it is probably akin to a pastor who would be very happy to see his State overseer knock on his door or walk into his church that had a small congregation, etc.

If the person has had a loss in their family, the visit would be nice. If the person had missed a few services and no one knew the reason, a visit might be good.

I don't think anyone is saying it is a 'magic pill' or a 'silver bullet' but actually it ain't bad for church/pastor relations. JMO. Wink
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Post bonnie knox
First of all, as Cojak noticed, I did not say visitation should be a pastor's primary duty. Second, what you see in Acts 6 had to do with specifically the 12 apostles, and to use the term "ministry leaders" is to cast too broad a net in that application, I believe, since one can be a "ministry leader" without being an apostle. I noticed Thom Rainer seemed to use that same scripture (in either some of his posts or comments or when he was "amening" someone who complimented him--I don't remember off the top of my head which it was) to define the duties of a pastor. I thought it was odd to take what was specifically described as something being done by the 12 apostles as the primary duties of the pastor when being an apostle is different from being a pastor.
Third, what makes it weird is the way he is defining "ministry" with respect to Ephesians 4:12. Pastoring IS ministering. Visiting IS ministering. Preaching the gospel IS ministering. What I think is weird is the way he makes is sound as if the pastor's job is to get someone else to do the ministry. I'm very familiar with Ephesians 4 (though I haven't written an 85-page paper on it). I think it would be misguided to assume that you can take that one reference which is quite general in scope (basically saying "equip the saints for works of service") and from it define the specific parameters (or limits!) of pastoral duties. In addition, the idea that this verse says a pastor's job is delegation makes no sense of the word shepherd. Beyond that, all the ministry gifts are unified in the goal stated in verse 12, not just the pastoral gift.
Another place we fall off the tracks is thinking that we can find a specific list of requirements for actions that we call "offices." The "office of a pastor" is nothing more than the actions of a person who does pastoral things. (As an aside, that's why we get so hung up on whether Phoebe was a "deacon deacon" or just a servant. I actually heard someone say a woman could be a deacon the way Phoebe was, but could not occupy the "office" of a deacon. Of course the word "office" is just added in the English translation in 1 Timothy 3.)
If you look at NT scriptures which describe a shepherd, you come up with a person who feeds his flock, takes oversight of his flock, gives his life for his flock, and leads by example. (John 10:11, Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
How a shepherd could be a shepherd without really spending a lot of time in close contact with the sheep boggles the mind.

skinnybishop wrote:
bonnie knox wrote:
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.


No, actually its dead on accurate. That is exactly what Ephesians says that ministry office is for. I just wrote an 85 page paper on this very topic.

Most of the expectations for pastoral visitation are rooted in tradition and misunderstanding of Scripture.

Should a pastor visit? Sure. Should that be his primary responsibility? No, and there is no Biblical basis for arguments otherwise.

Acts 6 clearly establishes that ministry leaders should focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer. Visitation etc should be done by people designated for that role, within the local church.
[Insert Acts Pun Here]
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8/31/16 2:15 pm


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Post skinnybishop
Cojak wrote:
diakoneo wrote:
What exactly does a "visit from the pastor" supposedly do?

Is the pastor greater in power than any other member in the church?

Is his presence so grand and awe inspiring that just a visit from him changes everything?

It seems to me there is an implication toward Roman Catholicism if we think there is one member of the body's presence is more important and therefore more needed. Tradition trips us in many ways and we don't even realize it. Yes I visit people. Hospitals, homes, jails, wherever...

Under the old covenant the priests and prophets had a closer relationship with God. The new covenant says "we are a royal priesthood". The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. We are all qualified to encourage!


well for one thing it shows that the person is also important to the pastor as well as the LOrd.
For another it is probably akin to a pastor who would be very happy to see his State overseer knock on his door or walk into his church that had a small congregation, etc.

If the person has had a loss in their family, the visit would be nice. If the person had missed a few services and no one knew the reason, a visit might be good.

I don't think anyone is saying it is a 'magic pill' or a 'silver bullet' but actually it ain't bad for church/pastor relations. JMO. :wink:


Nobody denies that visiting in the event of sickness or death is appropriate. But what you are talking about is visiting to pleasing people

I don't agree with visiting people to prove I care. Because what if I visit this week and don't next? Does that mean I cared last week, but not this week? When you visit to prove you care, you create a set of expectations that never will be satisfied. Its a never ending hole for a pastor to fill.

I see no reason why pastors should be expected to visit grown men and women who choose not to attend church. I'm not talking about sick folks...shut ins....etc. Let me repeat: I'm not talking about the sick or shut ins.

I'm talking about people who play games and expect the pastor to join in. Literally, I had a man tell me he intentionally stayed out of church, to see if we would visit him. The man is 74.

I don't have the time or temperament to play, "Test The Pastor" every week. If that makes me a bad shepherd, or means I should find something else to do, so be it.

The sick? Sure.
The bereaved? Absolutely.
The discouraged? Yep.
The people who want me to conform to their idea of "what pastors are supposed to do"? No way.
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Post bonnie knox
It cuts both ways, I hate to say. I've found that suggesting a COG pastor has no greater power than any other member in the church doesn't go over well with most COG pastors, lol.
That said, a person who purports to be a spiritual leader must take an interest personally in those he is leading.
I'm with you on the priesthood of believers. I'm still trying to sound out the news that "husband is priest of the home" is not a scriptural concept.

diakoneo wrote:
What exactly does a "visit from the pastor" supposedly do?

Is the pastor greater in power than any other member in the church?

Is his presence so grand and awe inspiring that just a visit from him changes everything?

It seems to me there is an implication toward Roman Catholicism if we think there is one member of the body's presence is more important and therefore more needed. Tradition trips us in many ways and we don't even realize it. Yes I visit people. Hospitals, homes, jails, wherever...

Under the old covenant the priests and prophets had a closer relationship with God. The new covenant says "we are a royal priesthood". The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. We are all qualified to encourage!
[Insert Acts Pun Here]
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8/31/16 2:23 pm


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Post skinnybishop
bonnie knox wrote:
First of all, as Cojak noticed, I did not say visitation should be a pastor's primary duty. Second, what you see in Acts 6 had to do with specifically the 12 apostles, and to use the term "ministry leaders" is to cast too broad a net in that application, I believe, since one can be a "ministry leader" without being an apostle. I noticed Thom Rainer seemed to use that same scripture (in either some of his posts or comments or when he was "amening" someone who complimented him--I don't remember off the top of my head which it was) to define the duties of a pastor. I thought it was odd to take what was specifically described as something being done by the 12 apostles as the primary duties of the pastor when being an apostle is different from being a pastor.
Third, what makes it weird is the way he is defining "ministry" with respect to Ephesians 4:12. Pastoring IS ministering. Visiting IS ministering. Preaching the gospel IS ministering. What I think is weird is the way he makes is sound as if the pastor's job is to get someone else to do the ministry. I'm very familiar with Ephesians 4 (though I haven't written an 85-page paper on it). I think it would be misguided to assume that you can take that one reference which is quite general in scope (basically saying "equip the saints for works of service") and from it define the specific parameters (or limits!) of pastoral duties. In addition, the idea that this verse says a pastor's job is delegation makes no sense of the word shepherd. Beyond that, all the ministry gifts are unified in the goal stated in verse 12, not just the pastoral gift.
Another place we fall off the tracks is thinking that we can find a specific list of requirements for actions that we call "offices." The "office of a pastor" is nothing more than the actions of a person who does pastoral things. (As an aside, that's why we get so hung up on whether Phoebe was a "deacon deacon" or just a servant. I actually heard someone say a woman could be a deacon the way Phoebe was, but could not occupy the "office" of a deacon. Of course the word "office" is just added in the English translation in 1 Timothy 3.)
If you look at NT scriptures which describe a shepherd, you come up with a person who feeds his flock, takes oversight of his flock, gives his life for his flock, and leads by example. (John 10:11, Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
How a shepherd could be a shepherd without really spending a lot of time in close contact with the sheep boggles the mind.

skinnybishop wrote:
bonnie knox wrote:
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.


No, actually its dead on accurate. That is exactly what Ephesians says that ministry office is for. I just wrote an 85 page paper on this very topic.

Most of the expectations for pastoral visitation are rooted in tradition and misunderstanding of Scripture.

Should a pastor visit? Sure. Should that be his primary responsibility? No, and there is no Biblical basis for arguments otherwise.

Acts 6 clearly establishes that ministry leaders should focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer. Visitation etc should be done by people designated for that role, within the local church.


Skip it......
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Last edited by skinnybishop on 8/31/16 2:53 pm; edited 3 times in total
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8/31/16 2:29 pm


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Post bonnie knox
Quote:
It takes away vital leadership from the pastor. How can we expect pastors to lead if we give them no time to lead since they are visiting members?


How is he defining "lead" here? (And why?)
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8/31/16 2:30 pm


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Post skinnybishop
bonnie knox wrote:
First of all, as Cojak noticed, I did not say visitation should be a pastor's primary duty. Second, what you see in Acts 6 had to do with specifically the 12 apostles, and to use the term "ministry leaders" is to cast too broad a net in that application, I believe, since one can be a "ministry leader" without being an apostle. I noticed Thom Rainer seemed to use that same scripture (in either some of his posts or comments or when he was "amening" someone who complimented him--I don't remember off the top of my head which it was) to define the duties of a pastor. I thought it was odd to take what was specifically described as something being done by the 12 apostles as the primary duties of the pastor when being an apostle is different from being a pastor.
Third, what makes it weird is the way he is defining "ministry" with respect to Ephesians 4:12. Pastoring IS ministering. Visiting IS ministering. Preaching the gospel IS ministering. What I think is weird is the way he makes is sound as if the pastor's job is to get someone else to do the ministry. I'm very familiar with Ephesians 4 (though I haven't written an 85-page paper on it). I think it would be misguided to assume that you can take that one reference which is quite general in scope (basically saying "equip the saints for works of service") and from it define the specific parameters (or limits!) of pastoral duties. In addition, the idea that this verse says a pastor's job is delegation makes no sense of the word shepherd. Beyond that, all the ministry gifts are unified in the goal stated in verse 12, not just the pastoral gift.
Another place we fall off the tracks is thinking that we can find a specific list of requirements for actions that we call "offices." The "office of a pastor" is nothing more than the actions of a person who does pastoral things. (As an aside, that's why we get so hung up on whether Phoebe was a "deacon deacon" or just a servant. I actually heard someone say a woman could be a deacon the way Phoebe was, but could not occupy the "office" of a deacon. Of course the word "office" is just added in the English translation in 1 Timothy 3.)
If you look at NT scriptures which describe a shepherd, you come up with a person who feeds his flock, takes oversight of his flock, gives his life for his flock, and leads by example. (John 10:11, Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 5:1-4)
How a shepherd could be a shepherd without really spending a lot of time in close contact with the sheep boggles the mind.

skinnybishop wrote:
bonnie knox wrote:
Quote:
Itís unbiblical. Ephesians 4:12 says that pastors are to train the saints or believers to do the work of the ministry. It does not say pastors are to do all the work of ministry.


This is just weird. This makes the pastor a personnel manager rather than a shepherd.


No, actually its dead on accurate. That is exactly what Ephesians says that ministry office is for. I just wrote an 85 page paper on this very topic.

Most of the expectations for pastoral visitation are rooted in tradition and misunderstanding of Scripture.

Should a pastor visit? Sure. Should that be his primary responsibility? No, and there is no Biblical basis for arguments otherwise.

Acts 6 clearly establishes that ministry leaders should focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer. Visitation etc should be done by people designated for that role, within the local church.


Never mind. Its not worth it.
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Last edited by skinnybishop on 8/31/16 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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8/31/16 2:49 pm


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Post Patrick Harris
You left off a word in the title of the article written, which changes the dynamic.

The actual title is: Fifteen Reasons Why Your Pastor Should Not Visit Much
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