Recently Thom Rainer posted a column titled, “FIFTEEN REASONS WHY YOUR PASTOR SHOULD NOT VISIT MUCH.” I first heard about it from a former student who recognized that this column argued the direct antithesis of what I teach in my pastoral ministry class and what I advocate for at this site.
Thom has been helpful to many pastors, but this piece was deeply flawed and needed response. I discovered, however, that there was no need for me to respond since there are several good responses already written. Here are four good ones:
David Robertson at the Aquila Report, “The Pastor as Chief Visitor”
These men point out the historical and biblical problems with Thom’s argument. Of course, there can be a problem of people being too demanding in terms of visitation, but we must not lose the fact that pastoral visitation is central to the task of pastoring and has been recognized as such across the centuries of church history (which is often noted at this site).
Croft’s post is especially helpful in articulating the positive case for pastoral visitation.