1. Whether you are a preacher, church member, or just a kind hearted person who wants to visit someone who is ill, there are tips to know and use for successful visitation. Maybe of the following things are commonly observed by preachers, but non-ministers may also profit from them.
2. See if the person really wants visitors. A person may be too ill to have visitors, or may be in a “critical care unit” where few visitors are allowed. Perhaps check with the extended family to see if visits are appropriate.
3. When making visits, try to be brief. Sick people are usually tired. If they have more than one visitor a day, it can drain them of strength. In a hospital setting, try to limit visits to 5-10 minutes, 15 minutes at the most. For nursing home visits, try to stay for at least 30 minutes.
4. Make your visits “upbeat.” Speak about positive things. Encourage the person who is ill. Treat the person as you would want to be treated.
5. Follow the rules. Remember that you are a visitor. As a guest you do not make the rules. If you have questions about something, find a person who can answer them and ask what is right. Rather than assume, get the facts so your visit goes well.
6. Avoid being loud and boisterous—this is for the sake of the one you are visiting plus the sake of others.
7. Do not ask personal questions about the ill person’s sickness. Do not ask what type of surgery they are having, the “odds of their not making it,” etc. Avoid telling them that you “Went through the same thing,” or “You know someone who had the same problem and they died from the operation.”
8. Ask the person if he would like a prayer. Try to think in advance of what you will say in the prayer. Perhaps hold the person’s hand as you pray. Avoid giving false hope in a prayer; do not pray for things that are clearly contrary to God’s revealed will.
9. Exit graciously. If appropriate, promise to come back and do make a follow-up visit. Treat the person as you would want to be treated, and you can become a great encourager of those who are ill!
Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.
Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).