Thursday, March 19, 2009

Evanston-Skokie IPG Day 5

Each day of the IPG in Evanston-Skokie, IL (A) brings learning and joy. Here are two very interesting stories about learning how to teach. First is an account of a believer who wanted to practice sharing Anna’s presentation. So she made a very intriguing choice for a coach:

Our friend made it clear he has no intention of becoming a Bahá’í. But he was willing to come over to hear about the Faith so we could practice our presentation and because he's just curious to know more. We made it clear that if he felt uncomfortable or at all pressured, we would end it. We met for almost 3 hours. . . .

I used a cue card with an outline of Anna's presentation to avoid reading the flip book verbatim and to improvise if things got overwhelming for him. __ interjected some points too. I initially wove in only one or two short quotes from the writings. Our friend respectfully listened and had lots of good questions. When it was over, I shared a quote that fit in with one of his comments and __ asked him to read one from the flip chart.

He gave us both feedback to help us with future presentations. First he suggested I weave more Bahá’í quotes into the presentation so people have a clear understanding of what it's all about. He suggested we use the flip chart in combination with the note card so people can look at the pictures but the words are still from the heart. He also thinks people want to know what brought us to the Faith and how it has impacted our lives—challenges, victories, etc. He thinks this may be a good way to start things off.

He's very interested in attending more Bahá’í activities including the dinner discussion event at our house, devotional gatherings at another believer’s home, and another devotional gathering at another home.

The next story is all about nurturing a new believer to become confident to teach:

Tonight I had a Ruhi session with a new believer. We did a few sections in Ruhi 1; we talked in general. I was so excited: She wants to teach! I had been explaining the sequence of courses and how they help build our capacity. I talked about each book and the service it helps you learn how to perform. She expressed the desire to teach but said that she didn't know how. I told her that the sincerity of her heart and the fire of love for Bahá’u’lláh in her heart are all that are needed to teach! I encouraged her to come to the collective teaching activity, and also to tomorrow's event, so she'd be able to feel the spirit of teaching.

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