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Letting Your Pastoral Light Shine

"Pastor, as far as I know, you've made only five hospital calls during the three years we've been members of this congregation," Dennis declared as he rode home from the hospital with the pastor of First Church, who had offered the ride upon discovering Dennis was about to be released.

"What do you mean?" protested the minister. "I make at least two hundred hospital calls every year!"

"Maybe so," replied Dennis, "but as far as I know, the only hospital calls you've made during our time here have been the three on my wife a year ago and two during my stay. We appreciate your visits, but you never say anything about hospital calls to the congregation, and your annual reports never mention it either. All I'm suggesting is that you stop keeping it a secret."

Yes, it's true. Much of what a pastor does has low visibility. Preaching, teaching, and attending meetings have comparatively high visibility, but hospital visitation, calling in homes, counseling, and sermon preparation are at the other ...

From Issue:Winter 1983: Church Health
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