Matthew 22:2-3 “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.”
Every staff member is a visiting pastor. It does not matter what title you have or whether you get paid. Over my short time in the ministry, I have visited bus routes, nursing homes, Sunday school classes, hospitals, school functions, family BBQs, and much, much more. I filled this role as paid and unpaid staff member, volunteer lay person, teen worker, and college student. Some of the best visiting pastors I know are not even called to preach.
Baseball has what they call “5-tool players”. This describes a player that can bat for a high average, bat for power, runs well, fields well, and throws well. This encompasses all the basics of the game, and it is exactly what scouts grade on when looking for new recruits. One of the favorite passages from the scriptures on soul winning gives us, as servants of God, some tools we should strive to have as visiting pastors.
1. The Ability to Go
Just as the ability to catch is naturally needed in baseball the ability to go is needed in visiting. The big words of emphasis for The Great Commission is “Go ye therefore”. The disciples were known to “go” from house to synagogue and teach and preach Jesus Christ. This is a fundamental tool for any ministry.
2. The “Again” Work
Matthew 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden,
Everything in life can be broken down into the repetitive parts. If we were talking about fishing, how many times do you have to cast the line? If we were talking about baseball, how many swings of the bat will it take to get on base? Make that visit “again”. Have the ability to plan those “again” moments. I have visited houses for months before the parents allowed the kids to ride the church bus for the first time. Repetition will pay off.
3. Be a Promoter
Matthew 22:4 Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
You know why people attend baseball games? There is food, music, people dressed up as characters, prizes thrown into the seats, and giveaways for just being in a seat. That does not even include if you enjoy baseball! My very first bus route had a little girl that only came once. I visited her every week for 2 years, and she finally came and got saved. Why? Because of the promotion we had that Sunday. Baby chicks.
4. An “Everyone” Ministry
Matthew 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
Luke 14:21 Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Every ministry claims to reach everyone, but few actually back up the sentiment. The seats of the master’s wedding are sitting empty as preachers decide that they do not have time to preach in a nursing home. There are always limitations, but are areas that need reached that are not being reached. A bus is worth the investment spiritually if you can take the time and money to run it.
5. The Fellowship of Suffering
Matthew 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.
People are always better at what they do when they have skin in the game. Each person has a cross to bear, but I know from experience that eventually some one will treat you spitefully as you visit. There is long term spite when you have visited someone for years, and they stop talking to you over something insignificant. There is immediate spite where they use words or worse to assault you at their door. Pray constantly for the Lord to give the grace the apostles had that they were joyful to be persecuted for the Lord.