Purposes of visit to the hospital, nursing home or sick and shut in

  1. To share Christ with those who do not know Him (goodwill ambassador)
  2. To express Christian love to a person who may be afraid, discouraged, or lonely (fellowship and love)
  3. To show friendship to a member of the Body of Christ (relational development)
  4. To offer the encouragement of the Scriptures and prayer (spiritual edification)
  5. To affirm that the church family is there to support the person (sympathy, empathy and solidarity)
  6. To minister to the person and family in times of death, fear and uncertainty (emotional, spiritual and psychological support via one's presence); For many the presence of a minister or church member psychologically and emotionally symbolizes the presence of God's care.

When people are hospitalized, they feel vulnerable and need the comfort of a church shepherd; they need to be pointed toward the Good Shepherd.

Matthew 25:44  Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’