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Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness

By Brian Croft
March 2009 | Review by Paul Brown

Synopsis

To counter our modern tendency to minimise or ignore sickness, pastor Brian Croft looks to paradigms of the past, at historical models of care that honour God, obey Scripture, and communicate loving care to those who are struggling with sickness and disease. Part of the Practical Shepherding series of resources, Visit the Sick provides pastors and ministry leaders with practical help to do the work of pastoral ministry in a local church.

  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • ISBN: 978-0310517146
  • Pages: 112
  • Price: £7.80
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Book Review

This is a most valuable little book. As far as I am aware there is no other publication like it and all pastors and elders, in particular, will benefit greatly from it. I wonder, too, whether those preparing for ministry in college are ever given the sort of helpful advice which it contains.

Beginning with biblical and theological considerations, the book moves on to the pastoral and practical considerations which arise when seeking to visit those who are ill and to minister to their spiritual needs in a sensitive and effective way.

At the end there is an abridged version of an address by J. C. Ryle on the text, ‘He whom you love is sick’ (John 11:3).

My only reservation is that the author encourages pastors to train and equip their congregations in visiting the sick. This will be valuable for some, especially in the light of Matthew 25:31-40, but not all Christians have the same gifts and I doubt that it is the duty of all to engage specifically in such ministry, especially ministering to the dying.

This, of course, in no way lessens the usefulness of the book for those whose gift and calling it is to do so. They will learn much from it and will also be provoked to think further in a biblical way, and perhaps add to or slightly modify what they have read.

I would urge all who minister to the sick, especially those who are setting out in ministry, to spend the little money and time it will take to read this book. You will not regret it.

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