Assisting the sick has certainly been described as a proper quality for a follower of Christ. It is proper and right that every Christian, including the preacher, should do this good work. However, Jesus did not mean that every time some sister has a headache the preacher must go to console her, nor did he mean that every time some brother has the ‘flu the preacher should expose himself to the illness by keeping the sick man from being lonesome all day. In fact, the modern requirement that the preacher must go by to see every person who is ill is completely out of harmony with the things taught in the New Testament.
In the days of the Apostles, ministering to the sick meant rendering assistance to them. This we ought to do even today. Preachers ought to help when they are needed, not because they are preachers, but because they are Christians. However, churches ought to quit expecting preachers to spend hours and hours of their time driving from house to house, going where they are usually not needed and often unwanted.
It sometimes sounds like the church has not hired a preacher but rather a healthcare provider. I have heard people say, “He was such a good preacher. He always visited all the sick;” but what did he do when he “visited” them? Was he needed there? Was he able to really serve them in their need? What did he do when he stood up to teach God’s word? Could you tell then that he should have spent more time with his Bible and perhaps less time wandering from house to house with little more than an encouraging message?
Remember, all followers of Christ must “visit”, that is, “assist” the sick. However, churches should not hire a gospel preacher to do that work, and preachers should not allow themselves to be diverted from the more significant work of ministering to souls that are sick in sin (Lk 19:10). In fact, the scriptures instruct us that if any are sick, call for the elders of the church (Jam 5:14). Even so, it is the duty of all Christians to assist the afflicted (Gal 6:10) and it isn’t something we can neglect or shift to the preacher just because he is a paid servant.