Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some lessons learned from Chicago

The friends in Chicago, IL (A) have been enthusiastically engaged in a wide variety of teaching activities over the past several months. Here are some insights gained from their experiences that were recently shared by one of the friends there.

Neighborhood trainings: Before an intensive teaching effort, it was useful to hold neighborhood-level training sessions. This allowed a greater number of people to attend. The trainings did not limit themselves to just one activity. Participants were encouraged to invite their friends and neighbors to a devotional gathering that could lead to a fireside and an opportunity to share Anna’s presentation. Participants learned how to assess someone’s level of interest in the Faith. They also improved their ability to share the Message at any given time when needed. . . .

Planning: It is beneficial if the core team can meet with the Local Spiritual Assembly and various participants well in advance of the teaching effort. This helps a lot with the planning.

Reaching out to the local community: When teaching, it is important to identify yourself as a neighbor and be a familiar face in the neighborhood.

Venues for sharing: Home visits and small meetings in public places offer one of the best opportunities to directly share the Message. This is often because such meetings take place with someone who has already expressed an interest in learning about the Faith.

Don’t hesitate to share: Experience has shown there is a real value in directly sharing the fundamental verities of the Faith from the outset, rather than taking a long and gradual approach. Beginning with Anna’s presentation sets a good foundation for dialogue. Meeting with a seeker individually instead of in a large group allows for a heart-to-heart discussion. It is helpful to have a prayer partner.

Trust in people’s interest: Don’t be discouraged if people say they are interested in attending an events such as a devotional meeting and then do not show up. Most of the time this does not indicate a lack of interest but simply that something prevented them from being available. Keep following up with them.

No comments: