Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Successful Visitation

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:2-3).

Visitation is not just a word but it is full of meaning, only the person who has the ability to meditate on our Lord Jesus Christ's work can understand its depth. Many servants approach it with carelessness, without praying and without planning.

Visitation is the most difficult service that the servant can do, but it carries the highest reward, why? Because, if it is done successfully, it will bring back lost souls to God.

Many servants would rather serve the people who are already coming to church and have some knowledge about God than go out of their comfort zone and deal with the difficult situations such as peer pressure, difficult personality, lack of spiritual life, active sexually, dealing with alcohol or drug abuse, etc.

We as servants who pledge to serve God and our Sunday school children will be asked one day about the missing ones and the lost. And we will be judged accordingly.

In the Holy Bible there are many examples of what our Lord Jesus Christ gives to us through His work on earth. We will explore one of them in order to understand how to approach people who is away from the church.

"A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'" (John 4:7-10).

  • Jesus started to speak to the Samaritan woman after His disciples had left so they do not interfere (one on one). He also spoke to her with kindness (she was not expecting that), that is why she felt comfortable speaking with Him.

  • Jesus did not start the conversation with condemning her although He knew everything about her, but rather He spoke with wisdom and compassion.

  • Jesus exerts a curiosity and a desire to know more about the living water.

  • Jesus was patient with her until she opened up and spoke the truth.

  • Jesus opened her eyes to see that He is not an ordinary man but He is the Messiah.

How to approach visitation?

You already are showing that you care enough by taking time from your own schedule to see them and bring a gift for the child. But there are three main elements that must be present in order to have a successful start:

  • Love - for whom you are serving
  • Wisdom - understanding of how to approach each child
  • Prayer - diligent prayers are necessary before giving any advice and make sure it is godly words

There are many ways you can approach the person you are visiting but before you do that you must pray for wisdom and have a plan. Never approach anyone without love and compassion for the child or you will end up lacking.

Our goal is not to point to the child's faults and wrong doing but rather introduce our Lord Jesus Christ through the way we conduct ourselves and through His work in the Holy Bible. Through diligent prayer we can achieve this.

We need to show the child our genuine love and concern for him/her personally and encourage the child to come to church in order to learn more about God's love and sacrifice for him/her.

Few points to help you to have successful visitation:

  • Connect - to have a connection with the child find what he likes and what his interest and talents are then focus on that or admire something about him that is noticeable like his bright smile, his hair, that will give you a chance to have a head start.

  • Listen - try to be a good listener and not to jump in and interrupt, rather put all your judgment away and listen with your heart.

  • Empathy - avoid blame and argument; instead place yourself in his shoes and emphasizing with how he feels. That will fill him with comfort that someone understands and that will open a new relationship.

  • Acknowledge - validate what he has said, assure him that you were listening, and it will help the child to feel that he has been listened to and he's not alone.

  • Holy Bible - Open the Bible and read a story to the child, try to get his/her interest and show him how much he/she will enjoy reading it, make him realize how God loves his people and takes good care of them.

  • Request - now comes the time that you need to state what you think but without demanding only by requesting and what will maybe be of help that he be more likely to listen and cooperate.

  • Acceptance - the last stage that any servant hopes to achieve that the child comes to a conclusion that He should do the right thing.

  • Prayer - When you go home remember to pray for the people you visited and the child and ask God to help change their lives and make them godly and holy people in order to fit our Lord and Savior's plan.

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

The human soul is a precious thing to God, our Lord Jesus Christ paid the most highest price which was His own blood, therefore we must not neglect anyone but rather look for the lost and the weak and pray and work diligently to bring them back to God's flock again so we can all rejoice together in the end.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back