A recent article in Towers (from SBTS) talks about Brian Croft and the ministry behind his book, Visit the Sick. Brian is the pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville and Visit the Sick is well worth your time.Thabiti reviewed it here.
People are rarely more aware of eternity than when they're on their deathbeds. This makes hospital visitation and visiting those who are sick a most important aspect of the Christian ministry. Yet, many pastors, sometimes myself included, would rather not be engaged in this vital work. We find ourselves awkward, unsure of what to say, hesitant about saying the wrong things--all of which are the after shocks of having our self-reliance exposed. If you're paying attention, hospital visitation is sanctifying in that way. Well, my good friend, Brian Croft, the faithful pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, has written a very practical and helpful book called Visit the Sick: Ministering God's Grace in Times of Illness. In a short 128 pages, and with highly readable style, Brian covers all the ground: biblical, theological, pastoral and practical. Table of Contents
Introduction1. Biblical Considerations
2. Theological Considerations
3. Pastoral Considerations
4. Practical Considerations
A Note to Pastors
Appendix 1 - Checklist
Appendix 2 - Spiritual Conversation
Appendix 3 - FAQ
Appendix 4 - 'Sickness' by J.C. Ryle (Abridged Version)
Further Information and Help
EndnotesA Couple of Well-Deserved Endorsements"What do pastors do when visiting the sick? Such visits are crucial both eternally and pastorally. Brian Croft has written a marvellous piece to assist us. His work is theologically grounded, gospel centered and full of practical wisdom. I recommend it enthusiastically."--Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Teaching Pastor, Clifton Baptist Church"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 experience 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 Pastor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; President, The Center for Biblical Spirituality; and author, Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life"Brian Croft has served us all well in providing a succinct, thoughtful training manual for hospital visitation. Church member, let this book equip you to become more useful to those in your church who are ailing. Young pastor, gain from Brian's practical wisdom. Let him train you to love and serve your congregation in a way that will adorn your preaching (and help you avoid awkward mistakes). Seasoned pastor, let this book remind you of the privilege it is to serve and encourage the sick in a fallen world. I plan to read it together with my elders, and hope to make it available to my congregation as an equipping tool."--Paul Alexander, Senior Pastor, Fox Valley Bible Church, St. Charles, Illinois; and co-author of The Deliberate Church.
Good to see we've left the land of intelligent conversation in the rear-view mirror. Non-sensical speculation is my specialty... short answer: if CJ has a lead pipe and Mark has a board with a nail in it, I go with Mark in 4 rounds. But most importantly, I think Mark would quote Richard Sibbes in the post-fight press conference.