Monday, February 22, 2010

Be ready for many different things

When visiting people in their homes, either new believers or people to whom you are teaching the Faith, there are a lot of “nuts and bolts” that need to be in place to maximize their effectiveness.  Here is a very practical set of intriguing insights from Central Jersey (A).  One particularly important point is the value of carrying out such an effort in a neighborhood or building where there is already the presence of one of the friends.  Note also how we have to be ready to meet the wide range of possible needs and interests of the seeker.
It is very helpful to be able to do something like this in an apartment complex where a Bahá’í is currently residing, who is able to host events.  You can be talking as a friend of a neighbor, not as a stranger. . . .

It is good to have several "tools" in your toolbox.  Some people may just want to listen, and Anna's conversation is good for that.  Others may want to talk about specific teachings—be ready for that.  Others may want to read something or to look up more information on a website—be ready for both.  Some might benefit from a simple quote from the Writings (on children, or health, or death or work, or one of many other topics) for them to reflect on.  Others want an invitation to a planned event.  Some would like a return visit at a specific time that is convenient for them—be ready to return, or to send someone else, at any time.
Be sure to get their name, and if possible a telephone number, and if possible, set up a time for a return visit.  Call before returning to make sure they remembered it.
Keep detailed records of every visit and every attempted visit in order to do productive follow-up and to avoid re-contacting those who have expressed non-interest.  Include date and approximate time of visits.

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