The Ministry Of Visitation -- By: Ernest Ruark

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 05:1 (Spring 1962)
Article: The Ministry Of Visitation
Author: Ernest Ruark

The Ministry Of Visitation

Ernest Ruark

Pastor Cypress Street Baptist Church, St. Paul, Minn.

When pastors get together it is only natural that they exchange ideas and experiences. Quite often, after such a fellowship I receive letters inquiring about my ministry of visitation, such as, “Whom do you visit? How often do you visit? How long do you visit? What do you say?” This is an attempt to answer these questions in a practical way. In a sense, this message has been some 27 1/2 years in preparation, for it sums up over half a lifetime in the Lord’s service. I am especially happy for the privilege of sharing these convictions and experiences with men who are at the thresh-hold of their ministry, for I remember how pitifully inadequate was my own training in visitation during my own Seminary days back in the East.

In these days when we have so much emphasis on pastoral counseling, where the person in need seeks out the pastor, we seem to have lost something of our emphasis on the ministry of visitation, where the pastor seeks out the person in need. All the-hours spent in the study cannot take the place of those spent in the homes. May the Lord use this message to encourage those who have not yet tasted of the joys of the ministry of visitation, and to revive those joys for those who have lost them.

I. The Divine Command For The Ministry Of Visitation

Jeremiah 23:2, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord,”

Job 29:15–16, “I was eyes to the. blind, and feet was I to the lame; I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not I searched out.”

Matthew 25:43, “I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not,’’

Acts 20:20–21, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Acts 15:36, “And after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.’”

Hebrews 1...

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