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informal survey: pastor visitation and calling

I'm doing my own informal survey on pastoral visitation/calling. If you have a few minutes, I'd love for you to respond to my post, either in comments or by email if you are more comfortable (beth at bethquick dot com).

Answer these questions if you are a pastor:
1) How many hours a week do you spend in visitation of parishioners?
2) How often do you visit the same person if they are home-bound/nursing-home-bound?
3) How often do you visit a person who is hospitalized for a short time period?
4) Do others in your congregation help with visitation? How?
5) How long is your 'average' visit?
6) Have you visited all members, including those who do not actually attend your church?
7) How did you initiate visits when you first came to your congregation?
8) Do you visit a person when he/she first begins attending your church? How/when would you initiate such a visit?

If you are a lay person, please answer these:
1) Has your pastor visited you?
2) If yes, how often has she/he visited?
3) How long does he/she visit for?
4) Has your pastor visited you for other than special situations - just a 'regular' visit?
5) When you first met your pastor, either because you joined the church, or a new pastor came to your church, when were you firsted visited by her/him?

Thanks for your help in this! If you have other insights on visiting/calling you want to share, feel free!

Comments

Theresa Coleman said…
1) How many hours a week do you spend in visitation of parishioners? Personally -- 5 hours, on the telephone about 10 more.
2) How often do you visit the same person if they are home-bound/nursing-home-bound? The person is visited by one of the pastoral staff once a week -- rotated through the staff of 3 and two lay persons. Communion once a month.
3) How often do you visit a person who is hospitalized for a short time period? Serious illness -- once a day a pastor goes by. Non-serious, every other day or phone calls.
4) Do others in your congregation help with visitation? How? Yes, it's rotated through the pastoral staff, but the brunt lays with the Sr. and associate. Two lay persons help deliver the tapes of the services.
5) How long is your 'average' visit? Mine -- about an hour, but it varies from 10 minutes to an hour.
6) Have you visited all members, including those who do not actually attend your church? Personally, no but one of the pastoral staff has.
7) How did you initiate visits when you first came to your congregation? First a phone call at the first visit. Then postcards (that varies) and then a personal visit by saying "Could we come around and visit?"
8) Do you visit a person when he/she first begins attending your church? How/when would you initiate such a visit? Usually just a phone call. After they have visited for a while (varies on length for a while) we ask if we can drop by. Then we visit (if practicable) before they join the church.

When you are finished, would you please post the results? I would be facinated. Thanks.
Patti said…
If you are a lay person, please answer these:
1) Has your pastor visited you?
We have had 3 pastors since I've been a member. They leave every 5 years. Yes, yes, and no.

2) If yes, how often has she/he visited?
I was visited when I wanted to become a member and when I wanted my kids baptized, by my first pastor. When he left, I invited the new Pastor for dinner. Five years later,he called a meeting to take place at my house for the people who wanted to change Sunday morning worship. But we ended up planning a separate service for Sunday evenings. I invited our new (7/1) pastor to dinner, but she declined saying, "Maybe another time."

3) How long does he/she visit for?
The 1st pastor-45 minutes to an hour. 2nd-hours...3rd-not yet

4) Has your pastor visited you for other than special situations - just a 'regular' visit?
No.

5) When you first met your pastor, either because you joined the church, or a new pastor came to your church, when were you firsted visited by her/him?
1st-It took about a year to motivate him on both milestones (membership and baptism...and he was mad I didn't give him a tip for baptising my kids).
2nd-Within days, like 4 I think.
3rd-Not yet, but she's only been here 5 days or so.
I'm a lay person. My answers apply to my current pastor.
1) yes;
2) one visit, plus a couple of brief errands;
3) ninety minutes for the visit, a couple of minutes for the errands;
4) no;
5) within a few months of the new pastors arrival.

Previous pastors visited more often because there were more special occasions then. I'm satisfied with the amount of contact outside church.

I'd never heard of tips for baptism. Wouldn't that be simony, or some obscure medieval crime? As a Methodist, he should be content with a casserole or some cookies.

Tom Harrison
Beth Quick said…
Thanks for your responses so far, and for the ones via email - still hoping for more! And yes, I will post some results and thoughts eventually!
Andy B. said…
I am a pastor.
1) 5 - 10 hours
2) Visited monthly, but not by me. There are just too many in our congregation for me to visit every one.
3) Daily.
4) Yes. Volunteer "Director of Visiting Ministry"
5) 30 minutes (but it varies greatly)
6) No.
7) A series of "Pastor Chats" over dessert and coffee in the church parlor with small groups of 6 - 10 members
8)Evangelism team visits first. Second time they attend, I send a card or email. Third time, I ask for a visit - coffee break or park bench usually.

My congregation has an active Stephen Ministry program that takes a lot of pastoral visiting responsibility. It is a wonderful way to empower laity to care for one another.
Peace, Andy B.
Anonymous said…
As a Methodist minister in South Wales I am APPALLED that a minister expects a tip of any kind for a baptism.
Anonymous said…
1 & 2 . Yes, multiple times, in hospital (My wife has had a rough year), with calls at home, but my wife declined a visit due to her not feeling up to any visitor at the time.

3. Anywhere from 10 min to 1 hr, depending on circumstances.

4. No, but the lay staff has

5. Lay visits within a few months of joining
Anonymous said…
1) It depends. I try to spend an afternoon per week visiting people in their homes but if I have a lot of informal (and unstructured) conversations, or no appointments,then I don't go.
2) Once per month or more frequently.
3) If they are in ICU, daily. If they are not critical, every few days.
4) Nope. Not yet.
5) Hmmm. I got great advice from a pastor that most of the time, people just wants to know the church cares. I go in with the idea of 15 minute visit. If the conversation allows for expansion, I stay longer.
6) No, regretfully.
7) Called ahead.
8) After they visit, I drop by on Monday night to thank then for visiting. I leave my card and don't cross the door threshhold. A minute or two, max.
Apostle John said…
Answer these questions if you are a pastor:
1) How many hours a week do you spend in visitation of parishioners? As much as it takes -- mostly on the phone, office or hospital/nursing home.
2) How often do you visit the same person if they are home-bound/nursing-home-bound? once each quarter is the minimum.
3) How often do you visit a person who is hospitalized for a short time period? Daily -- me or the Associate Pastor. Music minister does a turn if the person is in one of the choirs. When I started in ministry, hospitals kept people longer than they do today. Today I often make one or two visits, and the patient goes home.
4) Do others in your congregation help with visitation? How? Elders are assigned a certain number of members, and they visit.
5) How long is your 'average' visit? As long as it takes. 10 minutes? An hour?
6) Have you visited all members, including those who do not actually attend your church? No -- but I did when I was a pastor of a small membership church.
7) How did you initiate visits when you first came to your congregation? I had elders organize small groups for dinner and my wife and I reserved two nights each week for meeting the group. We would take a camera and provide name tags for everyone -- the picture alway showed the name tags :)
8) Do you visit a person when he/she first begins attending your church? How/when would you initiate such a visit? No, members do this. They deliver bread.

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