Visitation Program

Six Steps to a Successful Visitation Program

A SIMPLE and workable plan for visitation for Seventh-day Adventist pastors and evangelists is a must. Needless hours are often wasted prior to public evangelistic meetings in organizing the names that are hopefully interests, not to mention the loss of needed contact during the development of the interest. Also, the local pastors often labor under many self-styled types of visitation programs that are often of little help to the next pastor. In turn, the new pastor spends much time and labor setting up what seems to be a better organization. . .

-Intern of the Potomac Conference attending Andrews Theological Seminary at the time this article was written

A SIMPLE and workable plan for visitation for Seventh-day Adventist pastors and evangelists is a must. Needless hours are often wasted prior to public evangelistic meetings in organizing the names that are hopefully interests, not to mention the loss of needed contact during the development of the interest. Also, the local pastors often labor under many self-styled types of visitation programs that are often of little help to the next pastor. In turn, the new pastor spends much time and labor setting up what seems to be a better organization.

This is not to suggest that the following six-point plan of organization is to replace all others, but it is a simple one that has proved successful. It is shared that there may be a more abundant harvest of souls.

Visitation Organization

1. Alphabetize by last name all interests on a 3- by 5-inch Roto-file. Record basic visitation information as space permits. Appoint one competent secretary to be in charge of this file (head receptionist, interest secretary, or hospitality chairman).

2. Make duplicates of interest cards on 4- by 6-inch cards for visitation.

3. Divide the territory into areas, considering any town an area until there is enough interest to divide it into sections. Group neighboring routes into areas first, and then, if needed, section them. Make note of these divisions on a master map so that new interests can be easily as signed to the correct territory and visitor.

4. Assign someone as guardian of all interests in each section and area. The guardian does not necessarily visit but has the responsibility of recording meeting attendance and keeping track of the state of interest in his territory.

5. Group the duplicate interest cards (4 by 6 cards) by area or sect/on and give each batch to the person responsible for that territory. Basically, this card contains the name and address of the interest as found in alphabetical Roto-file card, plus helpful in formation for visitation.

6. As visits are made, interests should be graded (A, B, or C, for example). The grading of an interest might be in several different areas of concern, such as his interest in a public evangelistic meeting and his apparent interest in Bible studies. The grade placed on the card will represent how the interest responded in relation to the purpose of the visit.

Use of the File

What to do with changes: Channel all changes through the person in charge of the alphabetical Roto-file, who will make note of the change, whether it be dropping disinterested persons, adding new ones, entering change of address, et cetera.

What to do with "A" interests: Have the persons in charge of all areas and sections make a list on a blank 4 by 6 card of all the "A" interests in their area, section, or sections. The pastor or evangelist should be given these lists of top interests and should be kept in formed as to the state of each interest.

What to do about records of meeting attendance: Someone should keep a record of who attends meetings and when. After each meeting this information should be first entered on the alphabetical 3 by 5 Roto-file rather than on another list. Then in order for those doing visitation to know about the attendance of people in their areas or sections, they or the guardians (the ones responsible for areas) should check the Alphabetical Roto-file for the new attendance data. This in formation should then be passed on to the person in charge of each section and marked on all 4 by 6 visitation record cards.

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-Intern of the Potomac Conference attending Andrews Theological Seminary at the time this article was written

April 1973

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