How To Not Be Obnoxious During Hospital Visitation

Bad Visitor

Unfortunately, my mother’s health over the past month has granted me the opportunity to spend some extended hours in hospital waiting rooms and in hospital room makeshift beds. While I am pleased to report that my mother is doing so much better physically, the incessant beeping from various machines, the uncomfortable accommodations, and the lack of sleep have caused me to reevaluate my own hospital visitation practices and to therefore create the following hospital visitation tips that may help well meaning people from becoming unknowingly obnoxious during their visit.

5 Hospital Visitation Tips

  1. Don’t make the hospital visit about you. Some people are so uncomfortable when they visit, the patient or family feel as if they have to comfort them instead of the other way around.
  2. Pray. Unless absolutely prohibited in some way, pray with the patient. If you can’t because of hospital staff or family, then pray briefly for the patient as you are leaving the hospital. Some people say that the least they can do is pray. Honestly, it’s really the most.
  3. Observe door etiquette. If the door is closed when you arrive, close it when you leave. People who have lived in the country understand that if a gate is closed and you open it to go through, it’s considerate to close it behind you. If it is open when you arrive, leave it that way as you go through. The same is true of the hospital room door. Often, the patient or family has the door open or closed for a reason.
  4. Don’t talk about what you just had to eat. Many hospital patients are not able to consume liquid or solid foods or may be somewhere in between. Some patients may have been fasting in preparing for a procedure. Others are recovering from surgery and the sight, smell, or mention of certain foods make them nauseous. Unless they bring it up, don’t talk about food.
  5. Let sleeping patients lie. Because of constant interruptions, incessant machine noises, and routine checks from the RN, LVN, CNA, PT or (amazingly enough) the MD, It is incredibly hard to sleep in the hospital. Therefore, when visiting someone in the hospital who is asleep and who does not wake up when you enter the room, let them sleep. Instead, pray over them and ask God to help them rest and recover, and then consider leaving them a handwritten note or at least a business card.

Believe it or not, it is good for people to visit others when they are sick and believe it or not, most of them do appreciate your visit. However, using simple etiquette can help your visit be more beneficial than harmful.

If you can think of other tips, please comment below.

IMG_0436

Leading People Into God’s Presence Is Not Enough

The purpose of a worship leader is not just about leading people into the presence of God.

surprised

The Presence of God is not a fix that only comes over someone when they’re overcome by some song (although music can certainly help us develop a greater awareness of the presence of God). Christians have the presence of God within us through the Holy Spirit who lives within us once we express our faith in Jesus.

Jesus said in John 15, I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

worship

The purpose of a worship leader is not just about leading people into the presence of God. It’s about doing something much deeper. It’s about remaining in the presence of God, listening to His voice, hearing from Him, and living a fully devoted Christian life. It’s about studying and obeying God’s Word, tithing, and giving sacrificially for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. It’s about making disciples and caring about the spiritual well being of those you lead. It’s about taking up our cross daily, dying to ourselves, and allowing Jesus to be the one that everything’s about. It’s about cooperating with other pastors and leaders to accomplish the purposes God has called your specific church or campus to complete.

Leading people into God’s presence is not enough. Worship Leaders have to live His presence.

The Importance of Worship Service Transitions

awk-moment

It’s frightening to say, but one of the most crucial parts of the worship service is often the most neglected. It’s not the sermon, the music, or even the offering, but it’s what connects them all together. The transitions.

Nothing can be more awkward for those on the stage and in the seats than for a transition to go awry. Suddenly, in the eyes of those attending the worship service, the person speaking moves from being a spiritual guide leading others on a worship journey to a time wasting unprepared idiot.

Earlier in my ministry, I didn’t give much thought to worship transitions. In the traditional churches where I was raised, you did one thing, stopped it completely, and then moved on to the next item on the agenda. In these settings, the Pastor or Music Minister often served like a formal emcee at an evening debutante ball. If someone were singing, he would announce that person’s name and the song they were singing. Then, the announced person would act slightly surprised, stand slowly, and then dramatically walk to the podium.

What a waste of time. People don’t put up with that in today’s world unless it’s a group of children doing some type of presentation.

There are many transition times in worship, but here are some questions surrounding six major transitions of which the worship planner should be aware.

  • Beginnings How are you going to begin? Will you build momentum toward your start time, will you simply begin with a bang, or will you ease in subtly?
  • Musical – What will the transitions be between the musical elements within your service? Will your songs flow together seamlessly or will you break completely between songs?
  • Congregational – How will you use congregational elements to help you transition in the worship service? Will you have them greet one in the service? Will you direct them to sit or will you let them figure it out? Will you hope for or direct congregational applause following songs, videos, or speakers to help kill the dead space?
  • Video – How will you use video features, bumpers, announcements, and commercials to help create smooth transitions from one element to another? Will you announce the visual elements or will you just go to it?
  • Spoken – What spoken transitions will you add into your worship services to help you transition smoothly from one element to the other? Will you use a verbal announcement, a prayer, a brief monologue, or a spoken word in these times?
  • Endings – How are you going to end your service? Will you build to a climax and let everyone out with a bang? Will you end with ongoing prayer and altar ministry and allow everyone to leave as they desire?

It may seem trivial to give major focus to transitional items such as these. Shouldn’t we just focus on the content of the main parts of the service and wing it in between?

Not at all.

Charles Dickens once wrote, “There is surely something charming in seeing the smallest things done so thoroughly.” He was writing about a button. Shouldn’t the same be said of our worship services?

IMG_0436