- To share Christ with those who do not know Him (goodwill ambassador)
- To express Christian love to a person who may be afraid, discouraged, or lonely (fellowship and love)
- To show friendship to a member of the Body of Christ (relational development)
- To offer the encouragement of the Scriptures and prayer (spiritual edification)
- To affirm that the church family is there to support the person (sympathy, empathy and solidarity)
- To minister to the person and family in times of death, fear and uncertainty (emotional, spiritual and psychological support via one's presence); For many the presence of a minister or church member psychologically and emotionally symbolizes the presence of God's care.
When people are hospitalized, they feel vulnerable and need the comfort of a church shepherd; they need to be pointed toward the Good Shepherd.
Matthew 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’