Church Home Visitation with a Purpose

~ Practical Ideas on How to Make Home Visits Strategic ~

by Paul J. Bucknell

Making Church Home Visits Strategic

We need to make every visit with people in our church strategic. Each appointment, whether with a newcomer or church member, can be turned into a special opportunity to grow. Our goal for visiting the Christian is to take them one step further along the path of growth in Christ.Serving with Purpsoe

The easiest and most natural and engaging way to do this is to invite them to see where they fit into what God is doing in your church.[1] 

The first step is to make sure you have a clear understanding of your church’s vision. You do not need to tell them the vision statement straight out, but you do need to understand what and how God is doing things at your church.

God is doing great things in other places too, but your story is about how Christ is using your congregation to accomplish His kingdom goals. The clearer the vision, the easier it is to express it to others. Crystallize it into one sentence.

Coordinated ActivitiesWe will strategically introduce our church’s vision to the person we are visiting with. We want them to see what God is doing in our midst and how they might be able to fit into it. Every member should know they are a significant part of God’s work. God wants all of His children to know how special they are. Most churches make people feel important by the sense of belonging. This is good but too limited. God’s Word also teaches us that He expects them to participate in His growth plan through the church. We need to show how they can fit into God’s dynamic program right in our own churches.

We have chosen to illustrate how you can share the vision of your church with the people you visit by utilizing The Flow.[2] The church’s vision gives us goals and a plan. The Flow however works at a deeper level. It shares how God’s biblical principles should be integrated into who and what we do as a church. Our church activities must be integrated into His kingdom plans. Many times the church’s vision or activities are not closely tied to the scripture. They are separated into their own separate compartments (see right).

In that case we need to more carefully scrutinize what we are doing with whatUncoordinated Activities (Secularized) God wants us to do. We are not sure how you have tied your church’s vision together with the scripture, but this is key to making a strategic visit. If this is unclear to you, continue on reading. Two illustrations later given will further clarify this.

Most Christians are very interested in this kind of discussion. This is probably because it is the first time they have thought about the church as being relevant to their own lives or even to the society at large. They might hear of purpose statements but rarely hear of a church implementing them. It is our duty  and privilege to challenge God’s people with God’s vision (in the scriptures) and not merely ‘our vision.’ People want to know how we are fulfilling God’s work and not merely doing something to build up our own church’s ego and goals. We are serving God’s greater purpose.

The Flow model has two scriptural foundations from which it gathers its strength. You might have time to share both. You probably will not. It does not matter too much. Just keep a record and plan to visit them again sometime to follow up! We will use these two scriptural passages to illustrate how to have a strategic visit. One should feel quite free to use different scripture passages but remember that they should reinforce the thrust of what God is doing in the world generally and in your church particularly. We want them to become very interested in how our own church:

1)    Can help them grow more, and 

2)    Can help others grow through them.

There is an inlet and an outflow. We are fed in order to help others grow. God nourishes the tree with His living stream, and as a result we bear fruit.

For simplistic sake, we will focus on the new visitor to our church. But this can be done with each church member so that he can see his own place in the church along with his responsibilities.[3] Again, we want them to see how they need to grow and how God can use them. No person, including the pastor and the new Christian, is exempted!

Let’s now look at these two illustrations from The FLOW: (1) Personal Growth and (2) Personal Purpose. Next page >

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[1] This particular insight occurred when speaking with my good pastor and friend. He shared how he one time spread the vision of the church through a simple talk during visitation.

[2] The Flow Explained is an article that should be read prior to this one. We have attempted to make this article readable without it, but it would be very helpful as a foundational tool.

[3] If your church has just developed a new vision for your church, make sure you practice this a few times before instructing others to do it. The clearer the vision is in your mind, the clearer you can share it.