It sounds old fashioned, I know. Visit people at their homes? Are you kidding me? Who does that any more?! People are busy. You won’t catch them at home. They won’t open the door. You’ll be considered invasive. Visit people like church guests or absentees in their homes? No thanks.
Well, you might want to re-think that.
Having a day each week or one each month that is dedicated to visiting people in their natural habitat has benefits for the ones who go, and for the ones who are visited. Here are 5 reasons why you might want to get out more often and connect with people at their home:
- Visiting people at their home keeps evangelism and outreach at the forefront of Sunday School. Our Bible study groups exist to reach new people. Sunday School groups have historically been what we call “open groups” – open to new people being there each week. By focusing the members of the group on a day of outreach, it keeps the group thinking about reaching new people, the lost, and those who have begun the process of disengaging with the group.
- Visiting people at their home mimics our missional God. God sought us, not vice-versa. We mimic God as we become the seekers, compelling others to come into the Lord’s house and to His banquet table. We seek others because God first sought us.
- Visiting people at their home is fun. It’s great to spend time with a fellow group member (maybe two) and visit people. Friendships are often formed as people go out and make visits, and if you get to talk with a guest or an absentee, chances are you’re going to have some great conversations about your church, your pastor, their family, etc. I may not have always wanted to go out and make visits, but when the evening was over, I was sure glad I did.
- Visiting people at their home helps people find a ministry. Not everyone is a gifted singer, teacher, or tech person. Some people have the gift of gab and are “people persons.” A visitation ministry is something they can do with great success, and people find their niche in the church’s outreach ministry.
- Visiting people at their home isn’t going to hurt anything. No, in fact, it might actually help. If your Sunday School isn’t growing, it may be time to shake things up a bit. What would it hurt to try implementing a visitation ministry for six or eight weeks and see what happens? Chances are, you’ll reach some new people. Your Sunday School might grow. The members of your groups may get more involved. Yeah, that would be just terrible.
If you establish a visitation ministry, do it with savvy.
- Don’t overschedule – perhaps every other week or once a month is sufficient to get started. You can always add days later.
- Take advantage of childcare. Try to establish an outreach ministry when childcare is scheduled already so that younger adults can get involved.
- Train people how to make a good visit! They don’t need to make a long visit – in fact short and sweet is the way to go. “Porch visits” are excellent – the goal isn’t to get into a person’s home, but to quickly say “thanks for visiting the church,” or “we miss you.” If you’re invited in by the person you’re seeing, that’s fine, go in. But don’t overstay. People are busy and have things they need to do – like have dinner, help kids with homework, and get rested up for the workday tomorrow.
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