So You’re In The Hospital (Considerations for Effective Hospital Visitation)

As a Pastor of Pastoral Care, I spend quite a few hours in the hospital. To be honest, I don’t mind this aspect of ministry. I’ve seen God do great things in and through people while they’re hospitalized. I’ve witnessed people and families rejoice over improved health and I’ve seen the devastation when health makes a turn for the worse. I’ve seen numerous instances of renewed faith as people walk through illness. I’ve see the gospel shared countless times. And on the lighter side, I’ve also seen the backside of way too many hospital gowns.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned in order to make hospital visits more effective.

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Exegetical Notes: Psalm 51:1-17

The biblical narrative for Psalm 51 can be found in 2 Samuel 11.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

David’s plea for God to deal graciously (have mercy on me) towards him is based solely on the love and mercy of God, not upon any favorable action or attribute of David himself.

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You’re a Theologian Too!

In my first philosophy class, Dr. Wiley Richards said something to the effect of, “Everyone is a philosopher. Everyone thinks. Thus everyone is a philosopher.” Some believe theology to be an academic study better left to the seminary or trained pastor. Theology, at it’s simplest, revolves around our thoughts about God. Therefore, you’re a theologian too!

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Every Sermon Communicates Doctrine (5 Considerations for Doctrinal Preaching)

Calvin Miller once wrote, “All real preaching is doctrine.” He essentially argues that all sermons communicate doctrine, even though dogmatics may not be the desired objective of the preacher. Following Miller’s reasoning, A sermon may then communicate doctrine poorly, incorrectly, or it may communicate that doctrine is unimportant altogether, but all sermons communicate doctrine.

All sermons may communicate thoughts about doctrine, but all sermons are not doctrinal.

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