This is a short, helpful and practical book on ministering to those in need. It is full of wise advice, and thoroughly biblical in its approach. It addresses many practical questions, such as who should visit the sick and why we should visit them. The author also addresses the issue of ‘how’ to visit various kinds of needy people.
For example, counsel is given on visiting people who have a variety of afflictions or trials. These include constant pain; a lack of assurance; cancer; mental illness; terminal illness; dementia; old age, and those simply housebound. There is a practical chapter on visiting people in hospitals, hospices and residential homes.
I personally have always placed value on evangelistic visitation and so was delighted to discover a chapter on this topic. Perhaps this is an area that has been neglected by those involved in visitation, but one which grants great opportunities to present the gospel.
There is a challenging chapter on watching our own spiritual wellbeing. We are not to become robotic in our visitations, but spiritual encouragers to those in need.
The chapter on healing is in line with the rest of the book. The author addresses the subject in a biblical and balanced way. There is also a wonderful chapter entitled ‘A fresh vision of God’, which encourages the visitor to help the person in need to gain a right perspective concerning their condition. This chapter includes a treasure chest of Bible verses that can be used in various situations within the visitation context.
For anyone new to pastoral visitation or anyone wanting to begin a ministry of visiting those in need but not knowing how to go about it, this book is a must. For pastors and others who perhaps have neglected the work of visitation, this book will once again remind us why this ministry is necessary and how it actually enhances our preaching ministry.