Monday, November 3, 2008

Systematizing the work in Palm Beach

A report of a recent teaching effort in Palm Beach, FL (A) reveals some interesting insights. By becoming more systematic, the friends are contributing to the sustainability of their activities. Plans are being drawn up with human resources in mind and identified.

21 believers were engaged in direct teaching. Although this is fewer than the number who participated in the last effort, what is promising is that 24% of the friends engaged in direct teaching this time around were new believers. During this effort 17 individuals declared their belief in Baha’u’llah.

Some lessons learned:

If someone declares, it is important to return to them on the next day or as soon as possible after and start study of the institute courses with them. . . .

Persistence with follow-up is very important. Don’t give up.

For individual teaching, the friends can focus on their neighborhoods by inviting their neighbors, family and friends to firesides and devotions.

When teaching activities are taking place in a neighborhood, it is important for the Bahá’ís that live in that community to be involved by accompanying whoever is doing the teaching.

Commitments for follow-up were gathered and confirmed during the reflection meeting. Those commitments were then documented on a chart splitting the cluster into North and South areas, in order to help keep human resources close to all the activities. The chart is used systematically to match tutors and other human resources with new Bahá’ís as needed for study circles, home visits, devotional meetings and also for children’s classes and junior youth groups, and has proven to be very useful.

A Neighborhood Coordinator has been appointed in order to systematically follow-up with new believers.

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