Monday, February 27, 2012

THE HOME FACTOR

Ok, I have a sincere and genuine question that I would love to hear your comments on.  I'm in a seminary class about pastoral care and there's a strong push being made that pastors need to be in people's homes.

They argue that good pastors do home visitation on a regular basis.  Will you give me your answers to this poll?  Feel free to click up to 4 that apply.


I've been told that I need to lead our culture to a point of spiritual health and break down some barriers and get in homes.  This is honestly the first time I've been pushed to do this in almost 20 years of ministry.

I've been told you have to get on school campuses.

I've been told you have to know youth culture extremely well.

I've been told you have to be involved in the community outside of church.

But I've never been told you have to get into people's homes to be a good pastor of any kind- youth or otherwise. 

So, I'm tossing a poll your way.  Do you do this?  I'd love it if you'd take a minute to answer my poll and even to comment on it in the comments below.  Even if you're not a pastor, I'd love for you to comment on why you think your pastor should or should not do this.   I'd love to know the size of your church, the demographic you live in, and the reason you do or do not meet in homes.  

Thanks for your help.  I'm genuinely curious what your experience is or has been.  

7 comments:

Joel Mayward 6:14 PM  

Is there a way to choose multiple options? Because I honestly could click all of them except "Yes, I regularly call and ask to come and visit in people's homes." I'm in homes when invited or in crises, but typically meet with people in our church office or at Starbucks.

Maybe that's helpful for your study, knowing that a pastor does everything BESIDES the action expected in your class. Or maybe I'm just a terrible pastor. ;)

brian c. berry 6:17 PM  

ok Joel. fixed it. Now you can select multiple answers

Neal C Benson 8:21 PM  

This is a good poll Brian. I think that I mostly hit up homes when there is a crisis that happens or I am invited over. I live in a town (and I think we live in a time) where its weird to just "drop on by".

I bet that fifty years ago there was a lot more just stopping by.

Anonymous,  9:08 AM  

The senior citizens in our congregation place a high value on visits from the pastor. They very much appreciate his attention and all that it represents to them. Anyone middle aged or younger tends to be a little weirded out by the idea that the pastor would just come over to their homes. In a crisis situation, they are open to that, but otherwise they prefer to keep their distance. If I meet with one or two students I do it in a public place, such as a coffee shop.

Joel Mayward 12:09 PM  

Been thinking about this more since yesterday, and I wonder if it's different with geographical region too. I.e. I bet the expectation is vastly different if you lived on a farm in Montana versus a gated community in the Phoenix suburbs versus a loft in Chicago or New York versus a small town in Texas. Context matters.

brian c. berry 7:05 PM  

I'm sure a lot affects things Joel. I think denomination does too. So far I've found that it's more common in presbyterian churches from my brief conversations. Maybe I'll survey all my seminars this weekend :)

Sarah,  1:29 PM  

In a church our size (Journey), many of us don't have a personal relationship with the pastors, so it may be weird to receive calls from them to our homes. What many of us DO have, is a small group or involvement in a ministry. I think it's much more meaningful to have those whom we know and who know us minister to us on this level when needed. There are many lay people gifted in this area too, who could take this burden off the pastoral staff. Brings Acts 6 to mind. I think it's a bit old fashioned to expect the pastors to do everything, and supports putting them "on a pedestal" as if their prayer or counsel is superior to that of other godly people who don't happen to be pastors in churches.

My grandfather is a minister in his 70s and the great majority of his time is spent visiting people in their homes or in hospitals. But I agree with an earlier comment, that it seems to be his generation who expects it at a much greater level.

Brian, I'm guessing you would be visiting high schoolers? My kids are still young, but I think as a parent, it might seem weird for you to come visit my teenager without a specific, prearranged reason that I was aware of in advance. I know my children are loved by many adults at church, but I don't expect visits from their pastors or teachers now either.

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