Monday, January 25, 2010

From Seeker to Protagonist

The story SEEMED familiar. At least at the beginning. But this report of a few declarations in East Valley, AZ (A) then took a surprising and delightful turn. A dedicated teaching team with a clear vision empowers brand new believers to become protagonists of community-building. You’re going to enjoy this (my favorite part is where they literally “laid it all on the table”!)

A couple who were interested to learn about the Faith attended a Holy Day celebration, as well as a Bahá’í conference. Immediately after the conference, they were invited to a fireside, at which a Bahá’í shared a conversation with them like Anna does in Ruhi Book 6. The Bahá’í asked them if they believed in Bahá’u’lláh as the Manifestation of God for today. They both said yes and declared. . . .

So far, so good. Directly teaching seekers who then declare. This is happening more and more.

One of the new believers wanted all of their family members to also know about the Faith, so appointments were made to meet with them, resulting in another couple of declarations.

New believers then teach their family members. Again, we’re happy, and this is another process that is happening more and more. But here’s where it gets interesting . . .

On the third day, the teaching team visited the family again and conveyed the concept of building a spiritual civilization and the need for collaborators.

In other words, welcome to the Faith, now, let’s get to work! (This aint just a congregation.)

The teaching team laid the 7 Ruhi books on the table and explained the purpose of each book.

(In other words, a clear and simple framework for how we carry out this work. And these aren’t just books to read, but steps in preparing you for real acts of service.)

Initially there was a hesitation on the part of the new believers about their ability to carry out these acts of service. By the end of the conversation, however, one of them said, “I can do this.”


The tutors immediately explained the idea of team building and formed a team with the new family. The first line of action was to start a children’s class in their neighborhood, and the first step planned to carry this out is for the new teaching team to walk their neighborhood together and invite the neighbors’ children to the Bahá’í children’s classes.

Now that’s accompaniment! A seeker is now a protagonist of progress!

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