Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The learning behind the success

We have recently seen that the friends in Nashville, TN (A) have been experiencing a lot of exciting success in reaching out to their neighbors with the message of Baha’u’llah. Behind these success stories is a growing body of knowledge gained from their action in the field. Here is a report shared by a believer in the cluster highlighting some of the insights compiled from their most recent efforts.

The Nashville cluster experienced a thrilling breakthrough in enrolments surpassing everyone’s expectations. Finding 30 new believers and establishing a children’s class in the neighborhood that is attended by many children of these new believers have inspired friends throughout the cluster to develop a teaching culture never before witnessed. A growing sense of unity of vision, heartfelt connectedness, sacrificial efforts, loving bonds of friendship, institutional support and loving collaboration continues to develop and grow in the cluster. . . .

Key ingredients for success are specific actions and attitudes including: prayer; identifying a receptive neighbourhood; a focused and organized teaching effort; an anchor person who works daily on data collection; determination among the friends; a handful of skilled teachers who have gone through the relevant training; many friends willing to sacrifice time for service; and above all a reliance on Baha’u’llah to guide the friends.


Strong systemization resulting from a committed and skilled neighborhood anchor person;

Increased Local Spiritual Assembly engagement in the institute process and in teaching, (one Local Assembly completed Ruhi Book 6 together as an institution);

The participation of many youth in the teaching;

A seamless integration between teaching, enrolment and follow-up;

Strong support for neighbourhood children’s classes, and increased experience in how to make those classes self-sufficient;

Increased teaching activity and enrolments in communities throughout the entire cluster;

The formation of 8 new study circles attended by new believers.


Difficulties maintaining devotional meetings during the effort;

A continuing need for capable teachers to deliver Anna’s presentation and understand the systematic process of nurturing a seeker.

Lessons learned:

One thing to focus more on next time is home visits to the community of interest (i.e., people already participating in the core activities or who have already expressed interest in the Faith). This would be a way of including more of the friends in the teaching work; trainings in Anna’s presentation should be organized for them.

Devotional meetings decreased during the teaching effort, mainly because everyone was focused on teaching and starting study circles. However, when the friends receive encouragement and support they do take the initiative to start devotional meetings as well. It is important to remind the friends that devotional meetings do not need to be elaborate.

No comments: