I hope I’m not overwhelming my blog with posts, but there is just so much to say lately. So here is the next thing. My number one fear as a pastor is making home visits. I know that I need to be doing it. I know that it will probably yield much fruit to visit the members of the church, especially those whose attendance is infrequent or non-existent. I know that a good shepherd goes in search of the lost sheep. But I tremble with fear every time I consider making home visits. What usually happens is that I put them off. I procrastinate, and find all sorts of other things to occupy my time so that I do not have to do the unpleasant task of talking with the members.
Why do I have such a fear of this? I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Part of it is that I have no idea what to say. The times that I have had the opportunity to visit with members about their faith or their attendance, I have completely blown it from my perspective. I feel like I am imposing on them, that they have no desire to have a visit from a pastor. And for many of them I would probably be right. Nevertheless, this is no excuse. I am neglecting my flock, and will be held accountable for the souls of the baptized that have been entrusted to me. The perfectionist in me waits for the perfect time, the perfect circumstances, the perfect system before acting, knowing all along that such things will never come. Maybe it would help if I had a few prepared questions to ask people, open-ended ones that get them to talk about themselves a little bit. Because I am nervous, I usually do all the talking. They really don’t teach you this stuff at seminary, or if they did I was probably not listening because it was in the Pastoral Practice classes. Does anyone else struggle with this? Most of the laymen who read this are probably not the type that I would be afraid to visit. I hate making people feel uncomfortable, but sometimes it is necessary. Does anyone have any sound words of wisdom?