It’s Time To Get Out Of The Office

An effective pastor will get out of the office from time to time.

I’ve been in churches where they were telling me to be in the office more “just in case someone comes to the church looking for the pastor”. I’ve been also been told to get out of the office more and go visit people. “Just show up at their door” was one elders advice.

I’m not talking about either of those things. Yes we need to spend adequate time in the office to prepare sermons and meet with people and plan meetings and pray through the future of the church. Yes we need to connect with our people through home visits or a coffee at the local cafe, but what I’m talking about is getting into the community.

In the first church I was a pastor in I was made so busy in the church that I had no opportunity to ever connect with people in the community. Ever since I have had this conviction that I need to find natural ways to connect with people in the community. If we are going to be people who are introducing people to Jesus, then we need to connect with people who don’t yet know Jesus. If I want my church to do that, then I as pastor need to be doing that.

I have tried to find ways to get to know people and contribute to the good of the community at the same time. In other places I joined a bowling league and ran with a bunch of guys. Here in Carseland I joined the local Carseland and District Community Association and Agricultural Society. I’m actually President right now.  I have also joined the local Lions Club. These are giving me opportunity to connect with people I would never meet any other way. And the neat thing is that a few of the men from the Lions have joined us at church from time to time!

As pastors and church leaders we are always looking for people to serve in the church. We want people to volunteer their time in the church after having put in a full days work. They have spent most of their day rubbing shoulders with non-church people. Then we encourage them to serve in the church for a few others a week.

Pastors spend much of their day in the church. I think it only makes sense that we reverse what we ask of our people. We should spend a couple hours a week getting involved in serving in the community and connecting with non-church people.

The benefit will be that the people in your community will begin to see you as a “real” person. You will get to know non-church people whom you can hopefully introduce to Jesus. And in the meantime you will be helping make a positive impact on the community.

We need to remember to get out of the office – not just to visit church members, but to find ways of connecting with people who still need Jesus!

Hospital Visits.

Hospitals used to make me sick. I could only visit for so long before my queasiness would force me to leave.

A member of our church just passed away. It made me think of the number of times I visited him. Hospital visits are part of every small church pastor’s duties. I’ve driven 3 hours to visit. I’ve driven up to four and a half hours to visit the dying son of a church member. With this man who just passed away, I visited him 3 and 4 times a week. It was never a long visit, just a chance to say hi and to pray with him.

For me, hospital visits are more about showing I care than about following any certain ritual. I don’t ask about too many details of the disease as I allow them to share what they want with me. I bring my Bible with me and even have a few ideas of what I might read, but if it doesn’t seem appropriate, I don’t force it. But I try to usually take time to pray for the person.

My hope is that I can encourage them just a little and leave them with a reminder that God loves them and cares for them.