Monday, November 3, 2008

Raising up human resources in Santa Monica

The friends in Santa Monica, CA (B) are learning lots about how to raise up human resources in their community. A believer in the cluster shares their thoughts about some of the key lessons that have been learned. They have noted the importance of the training institute process—particularly the practice components of the courses—as well as the power of children’s classes and home visits.

Raising up new human resources through home visits:

Home visits to new believers who are open to receive repeated visits can be a source of inspiration to those friends who have not yet been involved in teaching, and can help them gain experience in the practice components of the institute courses. . . .

Home visits with new believers can be a great opportunity to empower the new believer to give Anna’s presentation to their friends and neighbors in the company of a veteran believer.

Practice components of institute courses:

While studying the Ruhi courses with new believers, it is important to emphasize the practice component of the courses and accompany them in the practices.

Prioritizing the practice before and during the institute course is highly effective for raising new human resources, as any issues related to an act of service such as teaching a children’s class can be directly addressed by the tutor.

Children’s classes:

Planning for decentralized neighborhood children’s classes should begin 1-2 months prior to class start date.

Having an open house for parents (with a brief presentation and visual display including photographs of the children’s class activities, drawings, prayers and quotations learned) is an effective tool for transitioning a virtues class into a Baha’i children’s class. Being transparent about the spiritual nature of the class opens doors for direct teaching with the parents.

Having the flexibility to perform the core activities within a culturally-relevant framework (children’s class at the park on a weekend afternoon, with families present and socializing) attracts family participation and commitment; these children’s classes at the park also function as firesides for the parents.

Hands-on involvement of the children’s class coordinator in the individual classes invigorates the classes and encourages the teachers and hosts.

In order for children’s classes to become outward-looking, the core team needs to meet with individual class hosts, teachers—and students—to consult on how they can invite their friends and neighbors to participate.


Effective follow-up can be accomplished with the right human resources – even if those human resources are few in number.

There is a significant degree of personal transformation for those who enter the teaching field, which creates a ripple effect on the community.

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