Hospital Visitation Guide for Churches

by | Updated February 18th, 2023

A well-planned hospital visit brings encouragement and blessing not only to the patient, but also the pastor, elder, deacon, or church member representing the congregation. At no other time in a person’s life do spiritual issues and church support become so important.

Hospital Visitation Tips for Pastors, Elders and Deacons

  1. Be well dressed. You are representing God and the church.
  2. Observe hospital rules like parking and visiting hours.
  3. Cooperate with hospital staff. Make them a priority.
  4. Check-in at the nurse’s station before entering the room.
  5. Be cheerful and positive, not a joker. Be professional.
  6. Be a good listener, don’t dominate the conversation.
  7. Make your visit brief. Four or five minutes is long enough.
  8. If family members are present, don’t interrupt their time. Be polite and brief.
  9. Never visit a new mother when she is nursing her baby.
  10. Don’t discuss what you believe to be the cause of the illness.
  11. Do not criticize or analyze the doctor, nurses or treatment.
  12. Do not ask the patient for a medical explanation of their illness.
  13. Do not suggest medicines or refer them to other doctors or treatment.
  14. Don’t talk about your medical problems or experiences. You are there for them.
  15. Be sensitive to the spiritual needs of the patient.
  16. Always be positive, never negative. You are there to edify them.
  17. Read a short Bible verse such as Psalm 23, 27, 37, or 63.
  18. With Christians, talk about God’s love and faithfulness.
  19. With non-Christians, talk about salvation. Leave a gospel track or maybe a Bible.
  20. Mention your pastor. Tell them you will report back to your church about the visit.
  21. Let them know the church is praying for them and their family.
  22. Ask if they have a specific need the church can meet.
  23. Ask if they’d like to be anointed with oil.
  24. Pray with them. Make it brief and quiet. Do not be demonstrative.
  25. Leave something with the patient like a church information brochure. Be creative.

Hospital visitation is an important way to reach out to church members and the community. Your visit may be instrumental in empowering a family to face whatever happens.

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