Acts 20:20, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you in public and from house to house.”
This passage is more for the pastor than it is for the average congregant. Paul is speaking to the elders of the church of Ephesus here, assuring them of his ministry to them and the Ephesian people before he journeys on to Jerusalem. From Paul’s own testimony, he never neglected an opportunity to proclaim the truth of Christ to them and the people of Ephesus. As I am endeavouring to become a pastor, I pray that I be like Paul in my future ministry. Paul did not reject any opportunity to proclaim Christ in public or in someone’s home.
What might this mean for the pastor in our contemporary context? We preach the Word publicly at the pulpit, at weddings and funerals, seminars and conferences, and other events. We also visit people in their homes, whether the elderly, healthy members of the congregation, people in the hospital, and so forth. As time allows, let us pastors and future pastors never neglect an opportunity to proclaim Christ in public and from house to house.
This does not mean sermonising, since it does not fit every occasion (such as hospital visits, home visits, etc.). A lot of times it might simply be the ministry of presence—simply being present in moment of tragedy, at someone’s hospital bed, in someone’s home for dinner or merely a friendly visit, and so on. The ministry of presence—simply being there without formally preaching—proclaims Christ and the Gospel. Pastors, never neglect these opportunities, if you wish to call yourself a pastor.