Getting Home Bible Studies at the Hospital
One of the finest times to reach people for Jesus is in times of illness, bereavement, etc. Every advantage should be taken to win people to Christ. Even at a wedding rehearsal, if there are strangers, the offer for a Bible study can be given very successfully. Many have been contacted for Bible studies at weddings and funerals.
Recently while on a visit in Texas a lady reminded me of the conversion of her father. Her brother had been killed in a car wreck. I preached his funeral in Sulphur Springs, Texas, and gave the invitation. Her father ran down the aisle, threw himself over the body of his son, and soon after gave his heart to God. The next Sunday he walked the aisle in a church in that area and became very shortly the chairman of the board and the Sunday school superintendent. He recently passed away and has gone to be with his son and with his Saviour in Heaven.
Another time it was my joy to lead a father to Christ over the casket of his little six-month-old baby. In one service I was conducting the funeral for a man who had influence with Little League ball players. Nine ball players were saved in one funeral service. In visiting the home before a funeral we have had many saved. One day there were six saved in one home. Just recently here in Hammond, a seventy-three year-old man was won to Christ in the home of his brother who had lost his wife.
One of the finest places to reach people and set up home Bible studies is in the hospital. Notice a few things we will mention concerning hospital soul winning and visitation.
An early visit is certainly in order. This is especially true for ministers who are allowed to visit at any time of the day. I find a visit around six in the morning or seven in the morning is a good time. There is not much activity and the person is usually alert and ready to listen. It also does not interfere with his day. This is especially good as many operations are early in the morning and the person can be talked to before surgery.
Be brief. Usually it is best to quote the Scripture rather than showing it to them, and the shorter plan is much better. Many reasons could be given for this: (1) The people do not feel well and a lengthy conversation might impair their health. (2) Usually you can build a better reputation at the hospital and have better relations with the hospital attendants if you are brief.
Use tracts. The people have time to read, and reading material is always valued. Provide home Bible study brochures that explain what a home Bible study is.
Witness to those in other beds. It has been my policy through the years to try to witness to every person in the room with the patient I am visiting. “How are you feeling today?” or “Do you plan to go home soon?” or some other statement can lead to a conversation about Jesus. Literally dozens of Bible studies have been set up by this method. I always pray with them if they will allow me. Many have been healed and are now living for God
Always witness to a lost person just before surgery. This is a time when one certainly needs the Lord and would be receptive to your ministry of prayer and witnessing. Offer to set up a home Bible study as soon as they leave the hospital.
Always witness to visitors and relatives in the room. Remember, they too have tender hearts and the Lord may be using this time to let them see their need. Whether you set up a Bible study or not, always have a prayer of faith for them before you leave. Pray for their recovery; pray for God’s blessings upon them; pray for courage and strength and faith. Always let them talk to you a while about their condition. This will open the door for you to talk to them about their spiritual condition.
Report to them about the church services. If they are members of your church or if they attend, you may want to take them a church bulletin. If there is revival going on, you may want to take the evangelist by to visit them. Some people even take CD’s of sermons so they can hear the sermon of last Sunday.
Always observe the rules of the hospital. Remember you are a guest of the hospital and you are planting seed for future opportunities. Do not be obnoxious or intrusive. Be careful to observe all the rules.
Buy numbers of get-well cards and send them to lost people in hospitals. For that matter, send them to saved people too, but receiving a get-well card from you will certainly open some doors for your witnessing to them in the future. Include a home Bible study brochure.
Recently a lost man in our city was ill and he required surgery. Every week I sent him a get-well card. When I came by to visit him, he began to weep and said, “You were the only person who sent me a card.” I immediately began to pray with him. After teaching them a Bible study, they were soon baptized. They live for the Lord today.
It has been my policy for a long while to send get-well cards to everyone I know in any hospital, whether church members or not.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Getting Home Bible Studies at the Hospital” by Don Fieldman was excerpted from You Can Be a Soul Winner. Self published. 2009. It may be used for study & research purposes only.