Christ comes to, and through, his people.
Many consider pastoral visitation antiquated and impractical. People seem busier than ever, and technology appears to trivialize personal contact. As a result, personal visits are often reserved only for the gravest of situations.
Tyler C. Arnold argues that pastoral visitation is essential to the pastoral role. In Scripture, God visits his people to show his personal interest and concern. This is seen most clearly in the incarnation. Christ’s ministry is one of presence. But Jesus is not only an example of visitation ministry; he is the embodiment of it. And in visitation, pastors and laypeople continue Jesus’s ministry by bringing Christ to the individual in their very place of need.
Established in strong theological foundations and sensitive to contemporary concerns, Pastoral Visitation exhorts pastors to return to this classic method of individual soul-care.
This excellent pastoral handbook by Tyler Arnold is therefore most timely in its winsome, practical approach to this fraught issue. It is also most helpful in grounding pastoral visitations on the ministry of Jesus and the apostles and promoting their purpose to bring Jesus to people personally, each in their own situation, by listening to them to discern what is on their hearts, praying for them in keeping with what they have heard, and blessing them there wherever they may be on their journey through life. Oh, how I wish I had something like this when I began to work as a pastor!
—John W. Kleinig, Emeritus lecturer, Australian Lutheran College, Adelaide; author Wonderfully Made: A Protestant Theology of the Body
The Lexham Ministry Guides, edited by Harold L. Senkbeil, offer practical, proven wisdom for the church. But wisdom takes time. The authors in this series developed their wisdom through years of ministry experience and conversations with colleagues. These books invite you to enter into these conversations to better serve the Savior’s sheep and lambs with confidence. You will find hands-on tools, lessons from years of ministry experience, and an array of resources to apply to your own ministry context.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Tyler C. Arnold is senior pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Platte Woods, Missouri, and a fellow on the Collegium of Pastors for DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel.
Harold L. Senkbeil is executive director emeritus of DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership. He is author of numerous books, including award-winning The Care of Souls, Christ and Calamity, and Dying to Live.