Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Action leads to learning about follow-up

After first reaching out to friends and neighbors with the message of Bahá’u’lláh, there are numerous follow-up tasks we must carry out. We may need to reconnect with those who expressed an interest in learning more. We may need to visit newly declared believers. We may need to organize core activities such as children’s classes and study circles. The experience of the friends throughout the country is that this work must be carefully coordinated and organized to be effective. This experience has been gained through action; whenever the friends engage in teaching, they are faced with learning how to conduct effective follow-up activities. Here is a brief report from Madison, WI (A) where the friends have been reflecting on their experiences so far.

This has been mainly a learning process since this had been our very first intensive teaching effort. There were many seekers with whom to follow up, and many dedicated friends who volunteered to help.

Here are the key insights gained so far:

The follow-up process needs a lot of training, planning and effort.

Successes should be measured by the willingness of the believers to make sacrificial efforts and not just the response of the seekers.

The area teaching committee needs to be constantly involved in monitoring, guiding and encouraging the friends during this phase.

As we get ready for our next teaching effort, we are already preparing for the follow-up activities to it. A meeting of tutors has already taken place to study the deepening themes from Book 2 that will be used in home visits. Another meeting is planned to practice and role play sharing these themes. Finally, more discussion and practice will be given on how to arrange follow-up visits with seekers.

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