PHIL Visitation Program

The following is the new visitation program that SSBC is beginning in honor of our Associate Pastor Phil Adcock. Please read it carefully, and if you feel that you would like to be a part of this new ministry at our church. See Jon or Lowell for more information:

PRAYER …. All visitations must be bathed in prayer from the people that go; to the people you are going to visit, to the time of day you will be going. We must bind satan and his minions with our prayers. We must pray to be in God’s will, He has preordained this visit, and if we are in His will and bathed in prayer HE already knows what is going to happen.
Hermeneutics….. We must be ready to give an account of what Christ has done for us both in season and out of season. Hermeneutics (or the Bible scholar) in the group will need to be ready to answer the “hard” questions; and help with people that have a strange or cult belief system, however the Influencer or Learner may be the one that the person asks to tell them about Christ. We must all be ready at a moment’s notice to tell them what Christ means and has done for us. Remember this visit has been bathed in prayer, preordained by God, and His will is going to happen. Believe this; hold on tight to this, believe that God is going to do something  great out of your visit; it may not be the night you go out but know that His word does not go out void, and that it is being heard and can penetrate the hardest heart.
Influencer…… This person is the one who can talk to anyone, carry on a conversation that the Hermeneutic has issue with, they are usually not a conversational person, but are willing to talk about the Bible for hours (some time longer than others want them to). You will be the starter of the conversations, the leader of the pack in most cases, the Hermeneutic is there as back up to you so that if the “tough” questions are asked they will be able to take over the conversation and discuss the Bible issues that may come up during the visit. This is not always true, the Hermeneutic may start the conversation, or the learner may be the person that the person seems to want to talk to, remember the visit has been ordained by God, and He already knows what is going to happen. Remember each one of you must help each other, as each person is being used by God to speak; the other two need to be joining their Prayer warrior in a silent prayer asking God to continue to take control of this encounter and bind the power of satan and his minions who do not want you or this to happen, and will be fighting against you every step of the way. Just remember that “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”.
Learner/Listener….. This person is here to listen and critique the visit, to tell the Hermeneutic that he/she was too hard on the person, or belabored a point, not in a mean way but out of love for the Hermeneutic and love for the person that you were visiting. They are there to tell the Influencer that they talked too long, and should have seen the person falling asleep. (joke), but again this will be in love to help to make the next visit better and to use the time that the Lord has gifted you with for the furtherance of His kingdom on this earth and in our community. This person is also learning; you will one day start another visitation group where you will be the P, H, or I of the next group, you will bring another learner into your group or create a new group from 3 learners of existing groups and a new learner is sent to your old group to learn just as you did to which part of PHIL you are in the visitation of our church.
As we visit we MUST remember we are not trying to increase the numbers of Sulphur Springs Baptist Church, but to increase the kingdom of heaven. We would love for each of these people to be a part of our church body, but we MUST remember that God has a place and purpose for all of His children. We cannot and will not look at this as a church building program, but instead a kingdom building program. We will allow God to decide where He needs each one of these people to work in His kingdom. Remember it is Thy kingdom come Thy will be done; so let God do the good work that He has started in this person.
Accountability: Each group will be responsible to the church to make at least one visit per quarter and to report at the quarterly business meeting. Each group will decide which day, time is best for their visitation time. While the accountability to the church is for on visit per quarter; we hope that each group becomes accountable to each other and the church to make many more visits than just the one per quarter.
Pray/Prepare: We must bath each visit in prayer; knowing that God has ordained the visit that you are about to embark upon. We cannot pray enough or have enough people praying for the visit. The prayer warrior will be praying during the visit, but the whole church, your Sunday School class, basketball group, choir, youth group, or children’s group can be praying for your visit. In fact; the more people you have praying for the visit before it happens. As your groups settles in on the day that you will do your visit to your person/family you can also bring the groups as well as others into this time frame to be praying for the visit.
Prepare for each visit. If this is a name that has been given to you by someone in the church, try to find out as much about the family/person you will be visiting. If you are allergic to cats, to the point that your eyes swell up, you don’t need to go on a visit to a house that has 9 cats in it. This visit might be better handed off to a team who has a cat lover on it. This could be the topic of conversation that will lead to the key question, or just a wonderful visit where cats were the topic of conversation on this particular night. There will be visits where you will not have any pre-preparations for it, but for all visit the more you know as you go into it, you will know what topics of conversations that you can get more comfortable with the person(s) that will be a part of the visit. When you get to the house look around see what is there, and if one of the PHIL’s in your group has a like interest; for example a deer mannequin with arrows sticking in it, and your Hermeneutic is an avid bow hunter, then this may be the topic that he/she will start out with instead of the Influencer, remember as you pull into the driveway say a short prayer that God takes control of this visit and leads each one of you to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading as you continue with this ordained visit of God.
Heaven/Hell…. Or maybe it should be Hell/Heaven. The H of Phil is for each of us to remember that every person we pass each day, for every person we meet at the grocery store, or pumping gas at the pump on the opposite side of us, is destined to one of two destinations. Remember Christ tells us that narrow is the way that leads to the Lord, and wide is the road that leads to destruction; so if you believe Jesus, then we can deduce that most of these people are on the road to destruction. This is so important that you come to this realization; there is no in-between; every human being alive today has an eternal destination of Heaven or Hell. Read the rich man and Lazarus story in the Bible, realize that this doesn't’t seem to be a parable of Christ; it seems to be an actual happening. The rich man begs father Abraham to send Lazarus over with just a drop of water on his finger to drop it on the rich man’s lips to relieve his unquenchable thirst. Let the picture of the rich man be emblazoned on your eye lids so that when you blink or close your eyes you see this person begging for one drop of water. Remember that eternity is forever after we die. The 70 or so years that man has on this earth, is like that blink of the eye that I mentioned earlier. This life is but a vapor, and eternity is forever and ever and ever. Remember Heaven also, if you are willing to go out as Christ has commanded us to do, then more than likely you are destined for heaven. I say more than likely, because only you and God know if you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. This piece of this study is where you have to ask yourself if the breath that you just took was your last, then as the Bible tells us to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Is that where you would be if you were no longer breathing right now? Take the time right now to talk with God and make sure that you are His adopted child, joint heir with Christ and entitled to the mansion that Christ has gone to prepare for you in heaven; not because of what you have done, but only because of who you know and have a relationship with. I believe that the greatest thing that will be in heaven is to see Jesus face to face, to fall down and worship, to dance in his presence, to just be awestruck when we see His wonderful face, to see the nail scared hands that took the punishment that I deserved. This is no doubt the greatest thing that heaven will be for each and every one of us; but what would be the second greatest? (I count seeing and being the presence of the Father as the same as the Son). I believe that the second greatest thing that we will have in heaven will be the people that come up to us and put their arms around our necks and say I am here because of what you did on the earth. Something you said or did (one of the visitations you are planning on going on); it maybe words that you didn’t realize at the time touched the person in the way that it did. Remember this visit is pre-ordained by God and the words that come out of your mouth are pre-ordained by Him. So go forth and believe that “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!” Heaven or Hell, it is their decision, you can’t make it for them, you can’t force them into to the decision. You can only lay out the story of what Christ has done for every human being, this person included, and what He means to you, they must decide if they are a sinner in need of a Savior. Bath it in prayer, deep loving and heartfelt prayer.
Inspire/Invite…. Your visitation has a twofold purpose for the” I” in Phil; first inspire the person to look deeper into the Bible, search the book, and help them to understand that Jesus told us that if we seek Him we will find Him. Inspire them to search the scriptures, get alone with God and ask Him to show Himself to them, this is so important, not only for the lost, but for the prodigal sons. Remind backsliders of the story of the prodigal son and that the father went out to the road everyday to see if his son was going to return, and when he saw him coming down the road he ran to meet him. Tell them that God is ready to “run” and meet them if they are just willing to go back as the prodigal son. Remember the father never when anywhere; it was the son who left.
The second part of the “I” is to invite, this visit maybe the harvest time for this person, you may get the privilege to ask them to invite Jesus into their heart, be ready for the leading of the Holy Spirit to offer the free gift of salvation to this person. Remember God already knows what is going to happen during this visit, so be ready for His leading in what you need to do or say. You may be the harvester, the seed planter, or just there to water a seed that needs to be watered, so just be ready to allow God to use you for whatever He has in store for this visit. This visit may not be at the point of the first invitation of Jesus into their heart; however always leave the visit with an invitation to come and enjoy our churches fellowship on Sunday morning. Remember this visit is NOT about increasing the membership of Sulphur Springs Baptist, but the Kingdom of God. God knows where He needs this person’s gifts and talents, but always leave with an invitation to come and worship and be a part of the fellowship of SSBC.
Lead/Love…. As mentioned in the “I” portion above you maybe the harvester on your visit. At this point you will need to be able to lead this person to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate goal of any visitation, but not all are going to end up at this step. If however yours does whether you are the Hermeneutic, Influencer, or Learner, you must always be ready to give an account of what Jesus has done for you. To be able lead this person down the Faith path, the Roman Road, Way of the Master or a combination of each is something that each part of Phil needs to be able to do. Many times it will be the Hermeneutic will take over this function; but you cannot expect to just hand it over to this person. The person that you are visiting may expect you to lead them to Jesus, and it is absolutely necessary that if their expectation is that you should do it; then by all means you must be ready to do it. When you get to the point that a person has decided to follow Jesus, whoever is presenting the Gospel to them, the other two needs to join their Prayer warrior who is praying for this visit in a silent prayer for the other partner who is presenting the Gospel. Remember, prayer is so important, don’t let your guard down for a minute, there will be distractions and all kinds of things that will happen out of the ordinary, if you get to this point in the visitation. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY when you get to this point during a visitation.
The last part of PHIL is love. With ending your visit ALWAYS tell the person that you love them. That Jesus loves them, and Sulphur Springs Baptist Church loves them. It is so important for people to hear that they are loved. We are commanded by God to Love our fellow man; Jesus showed His love on the cross, by asking the Father to forgive the persons who were doing this terrible injustice to Him. When you leave the visit make sure that the person knows that “they are truly loved” Loved by you, loved by our church, but most of all loved by Jesus Christ.
As you get to the driveway pray to God that he will take this visit and use it to the furtherance of His kingdom, and to make Himself real to the person that you just left. Call your prayer partner and let them know that the visit is over, and let them rejoice with you about what God is going to do because you were obedient to his commandment of “going forth into all the world, preaching the Gospel”.
  January 2021  
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