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Visit the Sick: Ministering God's Grace in Times of Illness (Practical Shepherding Series)

Visit the Sick: Ministering God's Grace in Times of Illness (Practical Shepherding Series) [Kindle Edition]

Brian Croft , Mark Dever

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Product Description


Every pastor--and many other church leaders as well--will visit the sick. Some feel that their visits are fruitful times of ministry; others feel very awkward. Very, very few, however, have the intuitive people skills and the pastoral expertise to do this successfully without some training. Brian Croft's book provides concise, wise, and practical instruction for this important aspect of ministry. Read it for yourself, study it as a staff, or use it as a training resource for all those in your church who regularly visit the sick. It can help turn a routine responsibility into a time of effective ministry. --Donald Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President, The Center of Biblical Spirituality, Author, Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life

In this little volume, Brian helps us to think straightforwardly and faithfully about God's truth and God's people. His advice is as sound as it is simple. Some parts of this may be about matters you've already figured out. But isn't it better to be told something twice, than not at all? Let Brian's be that reinforcing voice. And don't be surprised if you read some things that you hadn't thought of before. Read this book, and let Brian help you in helping others. --Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC

One of the primary reasons so many Christians fail to heed Jesus' instruction to visit the sick is that they feel ill-prepared. What should I say? How long should I stay? Why should I go? What should I pray? What if the person is dying? What if they're not a Christian? Those are just a few of the many apprehensions people have about visiting the sick. In this very readable book, Brian Croft provides us with practical assistance that should eliminate feelings of inadequacy and motivate the reader to fulfill Christ's commission, 'I was sick and you visited me.' A Biblically-based, highly practical manual for Christian care givers, this insightful book can be read in just a few minutes but its down-to-earth counsel will equip you confidently to visit the sick for years to come. --Bob Russell, Former Senior Pastor, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

Product Description

How Do You Care for the Sick?

Here’s How.

One of the marks of the ministry of Jesus is his compassionate care for the sick. Jesus brought healing and hope to individuals struggling with life-debilitating illnesses. Ministry to the sick should also be a mark of his followers, but in many churches today it is neglected or pushed to the periphery of ministry concerns.

To counter our modern tendency to minimize or ignore sickness, pastor Brian Croft looks to paradigms of the past and examines historical models of care that honor God, obey the teachings of Scripture, and communicate loving care to those who are struggling with sickness and disease.

Part of the Practical Shepherding series of resources, Visit the Sick provides pastors and ministry leaders with real-world help to do the work of pastoral ministry in a local church.

Visit the Sick gives pastors, church leaders, and caregivers the biblical, theological, pastoral, and practical tools they need to navigate through both the spiritual and physical care of the sick and dying.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 377 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310517141
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (3 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GS084W2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #685,502 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theological and Practical 19 Mar 2009
By James Drake - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a concise, theologically grounded handbook on hospital visitation, this is the one. Unlike any pastoral "how-to" manual I have read, Croft begins by giving readers the proper foundation for visiting the sick. As a matter of fact, over half the book is spent dealing with biblical and theological considerations.

While task oriented people might be tempted to skim through those pages and get to the "practical" advice, by doing so, they would miss this book's richest value. So-called practical handbooks are plentiful, but a book that succinctly combines orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the specific area of hospital visitation is rare--so rare that I know of none besides this one.

Croft has created a doctrinally sound, intensely practical and wonderfully brief guide for pastors to train and equip their deacons or care teams in this important area of ministry.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful practical guide for Hospital and home visitation 29 Aug 2011
By William D. Curnutt - Published on
Brian Croft does a wonderful job of giving us a very simple quick read that is loaded with good practical information.

He starts with an introduction, then a Theological background of why we should visit the sick, why there is sickness and how sickness can be a blessing in disguise for many people.

He proceeds from the Biblical / Theological basis to the very practical aspect of what to do when visiting, what to talk about, what you should wear, how to address family members, etc. There are sections where he gives good questions that you can use as lead ins to talking about the Gospel.

I thought that some of the most practical suggestions was a good reminder that you should 'prepare' before going on the visit. Don't just show up and not have a simple plan on what you want to accomplish. Have your Bible handy with some prepared scripture that you can read. Have a few questions ready to help guide your time. Don't be pushy.

Practical questions are addressed;
1. What scripture should I read?
2. How long should I stay?
3. What if they are in a ward or a semi-private room? How much can I share?
4. What does my body language tell the person?
5. It is important to incorporate good eye contact and physical touch, as appropriate.

All in all this is a great little book. I think it would be good for any Pastor of Caring Ministries to use in training lay people about the importance of visiting the sick and how to go about it. The book is short, so it won't take long to go through. You could have a training time for two hours with your lay people and cover all of the material. Have them read in advance. Then follow Croft's suggestion and practice what you teach, lead by example, take others with you when you visit.

This book is short and sweet, but filled with good information.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource and a quick read 10 Jan 2014
By CRing - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brian Croft provides a powerful little book in Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness, published by DayOne in 2009. Croft has been the Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church, in Louisville Kentucky for nearly 20 years, and brings some slivers of gold from a mine of experience to his fellow pastors in his 90–page work.
Mark Dever writes the Foreword to this work, with a self¬–deprecating look at some of the apprehensions he experienced in his early years of ministry. Both his remembrance of inexperience and delight in Croft’s work provided an encouraging warning that those in ministry need be familiar with the contents of the book.
This reviewer appreciated the logical flow of information presented in Visit. From the created order, Croft builds his theology of ministry into one that includes a view of sickness that keeps the gospel in view. He peppers readers with quotes from Spurgeon and Ryle to bolster the historical case for his position, that ministry to the sick and dying is indeed a high calling for a precious time when individuals consider their mortality. The practical proviso for the gospel was a very compelling aspect for this reviewer, as Croft introduces the fact that impenitence may only be broken, by an illness. As an aspiring pastor, this reader had never considered that aspect of hospital visitations to the level presented in the book.
Of immense help, were elements from the sections on Theological, Pastoral and Practical Considerations. The preparations for a hospital visit taught a level of preparation for theological discussion, physical countenance and physical communication that will prove very helpful in considering the first visit. The forethought of each section will mandate that the book be at the ready for reference prior to this students first hospital visits.
Historical perspective from authors and pastors such as, Ryle, Spurgeon, Baxter and others allowed readers to gain a historical perspective as well. Imagining the potentially lethal implications of clergy visits to people in centuries past, also provided clarity as this reviewer’s mindset is formed regarding the care of a congregation one day.
The only negative experienced with the book, was that it seemed to end rather abruptly. It would have been helpful to have some testimonies of both good and bad interactions from patients, hospital staff and other emergency response personnel. The one doctor’s perspective (supplied by Pastor Croft’s Father) was helpful, but somewhat stilted.
Overall, the book was very helpful. It will, by God’s Grace, be a much–used resource on this aspiring pastor’s shelf for many years to come.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book I'll revisit 19 Dec 2013
By SLIMJIM - Published on
This is a very practical book for pastors and non-pastors on Christian visitation ministry towards the sick. Visiting the sick and caring for those who are ill is an important function of the church and as I pastor a congregation that is fairly young, I have not had much experience with regular visitation of the sick so I got this book to get me thinking about this not so much for it's theological foundation but the practical wisdom. This work is helpful for the laity. The book begins by letting readers know that some of the pointers will be common sense that one should already know--but he rightly points out how it's never a bad thing to be reminded of them. Some of the things I found helpful to think about is consider praying the gospel; in the instance of a visitation that didn't go according to plan and you are not able to see the sick, you should leave a hand written note for the individual and their family. Hand written notes will also stick more strongly in terms of impression than just talking. Makes a good point not to overstay one's welcome during visitation especially if the patient is under extreme pain; it's always better to err on the side of staying too short than staying too long. I appreciated Croft sharing how he brings up the Gospel and spiritual matters during his visitation. My only complaint about this book is that it was too short--the biblical and theological foundation I found lacking in the sense that it was too brief and I would love to see more practical pointers and wise principle.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful little book! 29 April 2010
By R. Scott Van Neste - Published on
In just 90 pages, Croft dispenses much wisdom. This book is very valuable to new ministers. There is so much practical wisdom contained in this book that many do not receive unless they have hands on training with more experienced, good Shepherds.
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