When I first started working at McKinney, our pastoral care pastor came into my office and alerted me that I was "Pastor of the Day" on Thursdays.

"What a cool way to honor pastors," I thought. "Maybe they'll bring me cookies, let me wear a crown, and have everyone kiss my ring as they pass by my office when I'm the Pastor of the Day."

Turns out - that's not what Pastor of the Day is about after all.

We have a value of making sure anyone connected with our church is visited every day they're in the hospital. Pastor of the Day is the Pastor "on call" for hospital visits, and drop-ins who need to see a pastor, but don't have an appointment (often people needing financial assistance or in crisis situations).

Being Pastor of the Day is a pain in the rear sometimes, honestly. But I firmly believe it's one of the more important things I do all week. People who are in the hospital are normally at either one of the lowest or highest points in their lives. It means a lot for a pastor to go out of his way to come by the hospital and pray with them. And, it means something less if it comes from the Pastoral Care Pastor who gets paid primarily for those kinds of visits.

I just can't imagine ever getting to a position where I'm too important, or too busy to visit people in the hospital or in crisis. Visiting helpless people in their distress seems to be kind of a big deal in the Bible (James 1:27). When I get so caught up in strategic planning that I can't visit someone in the hospital, I'm missing the mark. When I'm so busy working on a sermon I'll deliver to people that I can't go see those people when they'll remember my words even more, my priorities are about me, and that's a bad starting place for ministry.

Go visit your people in the hospital. They'll never forget it. It will be one of the more strategic investments you'll make as a leader.


bfstrachan said...

Thanks for the challenge! 1st time to view you blog and I am encouraged - keep fishin, Billy