What Works for Me in…Tips for Hospital Visits

What do you say or do when you visit someone in the hospital? How can you truly listen then point them to Jesus? Here are some tips from Pastor Miles Bankston, a pastor in the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

I had to put together a quick and easy assessment tool for practical use while I was in a year of CPE for the US Army Chaplaincy. We had to come up with a way to get to the heart of the Spiritual Matter in 10 minutes of less in a hospital visit. This assessment tool forced me to really have some focused direction with a patient and I wish I would have had this while I was pastoring in TX. I use it all the time with people and they are not aware of it, but it helps me to keep on track and keep them on track. I offer it as a tool for any one of you pastors (elders or ministry workers) and hope it can benefit you in your ministry counseling.


  1. Facts- Can you tell me a little of the story that brought you here?
  2. Family- Can you tell me a little about your family. ( You want to know do they have family or a friend support system)
  3. Feeling- Can you tell me how you are feeling? (What is their primary emotion, anger, depression, grief, frustration, etc?)
  4. Faith- How does your faith help you or hurt you in times like this? ( You want to assess where their faith is, or do they practice their faith, Bible Reading, Prayer, Worship, where is their walk with God?)
  5. Future- Can you tell me what the future looks like down the road? ( You want to know do they have a future in site or does it look bleak and dark)

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