Do you know when the best time is to visit your church members?
A few months ago I did a little experiment.
After the church service was over with, I told my wife that I was going to hang out a little longer. She left with the boys and I sat there in my pew. I didn’t have any appointments to meet with anyone. I just sat there. And sure enough, people began seeking me out to talk. Some of the conversations were from people that had been meaning to call me to set up a time for an appointment. Some of the conversations were from people that just saw me and wanted to talk. In subsequent weeks I also noticed that this became a great way for me to seek others out and approach them; people I hadn’t seen in awhile or needed to catch up with.
I’m convinced that the time after a church service is some of the most valuable pastoral ministry and visitation time there is. So here’s what I recommend:
Seek to be one of the last people to leave the church after a service.
In my previous church, we would have a weekly lunch after the service. Before I ever sat down to eat, I would walk around every table and say hi to people and catch up with others in the lobby. Then, after things had thinned out and I had greeted most of the people, I would grab my plate that would be graciously set aside for me.
Ok, sometimes I have to run out quickly for one reason or the other, but the truth is that most of the times I take my time.
So hang out.
Don’t be in a rush.
I think you’ll find that it will be a fruitful time.
[image by chrisdonia]