Jeffrey A Landers M.Div.
The purpose of this research is to of this research is to evaluate the perspectives of select members and regular attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas, on pastoral visitation, that which supplements expository preaching, as an aid to their spiritual development in the areas of biblical comprehension, convictions, and conduct. The evaluation is based on interviews with ten members and attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas. The interview questions probed the nature of a potential connection between pastoral visits to encourage spiritual growth, that is, growth in comprehending God's Word, having one's convictions shaped by God's Word, and having one's conduct increasingly transformed by God's Word, and substantive spiritual growth as so defined. Dr. Grant Kaul has done excellent research to validate the relationship between an intentional expository sermon and spiritual growth in the church family he serves as senior pastor. His intentional expository sermon plan focused on the book of Revelation. First, that spiritual growth was measured in terms of an increased comprehension of biblical content. Second, spiritual growth was measured in terms of an embracing of biblical convictions and values which are the source for a Christian's conduct. Third, spiritual growth was measured in terms of personal conduct increasingly aligned with both biblical content and convictions. Building upon that research, this author proposes to validate a relationship between pastoral visits and spiritual growth for the church family presently being served in the areas of biblical comprehension, biblical convictions, and biblical conduct. In addition to an intentional expository sermon plan to encourage the spiritual growth of a church family, pastoral visits can be a tool to further reinforce that spiritual growth. This qualitative research, carried out by interviewing church members and attendees, demonstrates that pastoral visits, in addition to expository preaching on Sunday mornings, further enhances the spiritual growth of Christians.