- Jim Townsley
- Sep 20, 2012
Visitation is vitally important for the growth of a new church. Establishing a week-night evening of church-wide visitation is a necessary practice of an Independent Baptist Church. Soul-winning and visitation is the life blood of every new church. The best night of the week for visitation may be determined by local preferences. Some have found that Thursday night is a good night to visit while others may use Tuesday night or perhaps even Monday. Whichever works for your community is best for you. Having a bus visitation on Saturday morning or a ladies visitation on a week-day morning can also be very effective in winning souls and finding prospects for the new church. In reality every day is a good day for people to be witnessing for the Lord. I have no doubt in my mind that the early church was actively engaged in soul-winning every day of the week.
You, as the pastor, should not only attend these special times of visitation for the whole church, but you should have additional times to visit on other days and evenings. Saturday night is often considered to be a night of entertainment filled activities and might easily be forgotten as a key time for visiting. However, not all individuals go out on Saturday night and in fact many people return home in the evening after a long day of shopping, working, and activities. Those that have small children quite often are home putting them in bed.
I have always been amazed at the number of people I find home on Saturday evening. Often I will use Saturday night to visit new members that need a reminder about the coming Lord's Day. Many times these visits turn into discipleship sessions. One big advantage of Saturday night visitation is that a visit from the preacher leaves few excuses to develop over night while they sleep. As a note of caution, it may be wise to visit families with small children early in the evening, since they may need to put their children to bed.
These Saturday night visits should be done primarily by the pastor. For the sake of security and protection taking along your wife or another man may well be in order. I would not suggest to begin a church-wide Saturday night visitation, because members should be preparing their family for the Lord's Day to come.
Saturday night is an important time to prepare the Sunday sermon, but in the early stages of the church a Saturday night visit will help prepare your heart in addition to your head. The needs of your people and your community will be fresh upon your heart as you stand before your people the next morning. You certainly should not be sharing privileged information from the pulpit learned from the previous night visit, however a better understanding of people's needs will be manifested that can be addressed in a biblical manner. Why not try a Saturday night visitation and see if it works in your area?