Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
nibbler
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by nibbler » 23 Apr 2018, 11:41

SilentDawning wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 11:20
The part that gets me is that we are not counting visits -- it's whether needs are taken care of. What do you say at the door of an inactive family? Hi, I'm here just to connect -- can we visit a few minutes? You can't just say "Hi, I'm your minister what are your temporal or spiritual needs right now?"

Makes it tough to know what to say at the door.
Hi. I was recently assigned to be your minister. I see that you are not active in the church. Is it because you think the church is as boring as I think it is? Let's chat about it. ;)

AmyJ
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by AmyJ » 23 Apr 2018, 11:42

nibbler wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 11:41
Hi. I was recently assigned to be your minister. I see that you are not active in the church. Is it because you think the church is as boring as I think it is? Let's chat about it. ;)
Love This :D

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SilentDawning
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Apr 2018, 17:53

I just got back from ministering. Felt just like home teaching. I had to figure out apartments in a myriad of buildings in a complex, that was gated. While I enjoyed the walk, it was a night of driving to places only to find no one was home. At times I felt like we might as well call it home teaching as much of the same elements are there. In our Ward, the guilt trip, and now, seeking out people and coming home empty handed.

I can't say I enjoyed the experience. My son is my ministering companion and I'm sure he'd hate all that.

I HONESTLY BELIEVE IF WE PUT ALL THE EFFORT WE PUT INTO HOME TEACHING/MINISTERING INTO MAKING OUR SUNDAY AND WEEKLY PROGRAMS ENGAGING AND INTERESTING AND SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING, WE WOULD ACHIEVE MANY OF THE SAME RESULTS OR GREATER.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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dande48
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by dande48 » 23 Apr 2018, 18:45

SilentDawning wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 17:53
I HONESTLY BELIEVE IF WE PUT ALL THE EFFORT WE PUT INTO HOME TEACHING/MINISTERING INTO MAKING OUR SUNDAY AND WEEKLY PROGRAMS ENGAGING AND INTERESTING AND SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING, WE WOULD ACHIEVE MANY OF THE SAME RESULTS OR GREATER.
I don't think it's so much as the amount of effort, as the wrong type of effort.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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-Lemony Snicket

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SilentDawning
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by SilentDawning » 24 Apr 2018, 05:53

dande48 wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 18:45
SilentDawning wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 17:53
I HONESTLY BELIEVE IF WE PUT ALL THE EFFORT WE PUT INTO HOME TEACHING/MINISTERING INTO MAKING OUR SUNDAY AND WEEKLY PROGRAMS ENGAGING AND INTERESTING AND SPIRITUALLY UPLIFTING, WE WOULD ACHIEVE MANY OF THE SAME RESULTS OR GREATER.
I don't think it's so much as the amount of effort, as the wrong type of effort.
I think you're saying that if we focused on ministering to the people in our Ward in ways that simply show love and kindness, we would be better off. I am starting to not like the term "ministering" either. it's too church focused.
noun
1.
a person authorized to conduct religious worship; member of the clergy; pastor.
2.
a person authorized to administer sacraments, as at Mass.
3.
a person appointed by or under the authority of a sovereign or head of a government to some high office of state, especially to that of head of an administrative department:
the minister of finance.
4.
a diplomatic representative accredited by one government to another and ranking next below an ambassador.
Compare envoy1(def 1).
5.
a person acting as the agent or instrument of another.
I would prefer the term "friend", or friendshipping, or "outreach" or "service"...

There were times people called HT service, but I felt it was there to serve the church organization -- to get people to come back so they could serve in a calling. Sure, there were obvious examples of service when families had tragedy's or old people were alone and needed help for things they could not do on their own. But much of the time was spent try to hunt down people, clean up records - drudgerous things like that.

And the return on investment for those activities is so low. It's much higher when you look for ways to help and serve the people, who through their behavior, show a natural inclination to be at church. And of course, the people who aren't at church and who have legitimate needs. I am starting to think it's time for a manifesto of what service means to me....the beginning of which is here:

a) Helping people who aren't able to help themselves.
b) Assisting people with getting skills that enable them to help themselves in the future
c) Comforting people who are suffering
d) Working with people who show interest to be worked with.
e) Helping people feel part of a positive, caring community.

It doesn't mean
1) cleaning up Ward records
2) trying to figure out why people don't come to church, and then trying to address those concerns
3) running myself ragged when I have other extra-church service opportunities that are bigger than the church
4) serving in areas of weakness where I have no passion -- for these, it's time to enlist the support of other people who are a better fit.

The situation i want to avoid is where we sit around and talk about the people who seem to "have the most potential" and then do a visit meant to engage in some short term strategy to get them back to church, which, if unsuccessful in bringing them back to church, means you move on to the next person.

The classic example was when our Bishop was relieased (a very ineffective, unpopular man), they installed a good, new Bishop, and I got three phone calls from various people saying "We want you back". I wonder if there was a GA talk on that subject and everyone was using it. After I gave a lukewarm response, they left me alone. It was like, if the phone call didn't work, they'd stop building the relationship again.

Anyway, what does "ministering" mean to you?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

AmyJ
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by AmyJ » 24 Apr 2018, 07:41

SilentDawning wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 05:53
Anyway, what does "ministering" mean to you?
Here is what ministering means to me:
1. Be There/Be Involved - Greet the family, sit with us, note key events to celebrate. Reach out via email, in person, or via Facebook. Let us know what the boundaries are.
2. Celebrate/Mourn With Us - Life is short. Share with us your successes, and celebrate ours. Let us help you in a small way when you have cause to mourn. Find ways to acknowledge our grief when we are in mourning. Going thrift store shopping with those who minister to me provided a social boost due to companionably eating dinner first, having a shared interest/victories, and is a way to celebrate the passage of time (new baby, new school clothes).
3. Don't Judge - Sometimes empathetic guidance after judging a situation is helpful - but judge the situation, not the person. I already carry around a lot of guilt/anxiety over my family's non-conformity to social expectations (some of it is valid, most of it is just a product of who we are and what resources we have - and yes, I am working on handing it better and having a more balanced perspective towards it), I don't need Pharasetical judgement of my life. NOTE: One of the ways I have made peace with it is using the parable of the talents. The person with 5 talents was judged no differently by the master in the story than the person with only 2 talents. The world may judge the 5 talent person more capable, but the master in the story did not. I believe my family is a 2 talent family in the 5 talent world. We don't have as much ( or have it together as much) as others, but we are doing our part to expand our 2 talents into 4 talents, even though the 5 talent families will have moved on to 10 talents. If the master in the story represents God, then I have precedent to believe that it isn't the number of talents that matters most, what matters is do you make the most of what you have/the experience.
4. Be You - The people who have ministered to my family the most have been who they are. One of them is an introvert - I know that she may not want to come over, but I know she will reply to emails with thoughtful comments. Another minister bakes us cookies/cakes - she tailors her desert offerings to non-chocolate things because I don't like baked chocolate. She made a spice cake for my birthday last year because she remembered it is my favorite.

longbottom
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by longbottom » 24 Apr 2018, 11:38

AmyJ wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 07:41
SilentDawning wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 05:53
Anyway, what does "ministering" mean to you?
Here is what ministering means to me:
1. Be There/Be Involved - Greet the family, sit with us, note key events to celebrate. Reach out via email, in person, or via Facebook. Let us know what the boundaries are.
2. Celebrate/Mourn With Us - Life is short. Share with us your successes, and celebrate ours. Let us help you in a small way when you have cause to mourn. Find ways to acknowledge our grief when we are in mourning. Going thrift store shopping with those who minister to me provided a social boost due to companionably eating dinner first, having a shared interest/victories, and is a way to celebrate the passage of time (new baby, new school clothes).
3. Don't Judge - Sometimes empathetic guidance after judging a situation is helpful - but judge the situation, not the person. I already carry around a lot of guilt/anxiety over my family's non-conformity to social expectations (some of it is valid, most of it is just a product of who we are and what resources we have - and yes, I am working on handing it better and having a more balanced perspective towards it), I don't need Pharasetical judgement of my life. NOTE: One of the ways I have made peace with it is using the parable of the talents. The person with 5 talents was judged no differently by the master in the story than the person with only 2 talents. The world may judge the 5 talent person more capable, but the master in the story did not. I believe my family is a 2 talent family in the 5 talent world. We don't have as much ( or have it together as much) as others, but we are doing our part to expand our 2 talents into 4 talents, even though the 5 talent families will have moved on to 10 talents. If the master in the story represents God, then I have precedent to believe that it isn't the number of talents that matters most, what matters is do you make the most of what you have/the experience.
4. Be You - The people who have ministered to my family the most have been who they are. One of them is an introvert - I know that she may not want to come over, but I know she will reply to emails with thoughtful comments. Another minister bakes us cookies/cakes - she tailors her desert offerings to non-chocolate things because I don't like baked chocolate. She made a spice cake for my birthday last year because she remembered it is my favorite.
I’m loving every bit of this. Through the difficulties of this transition, I’m SO grateful for my enhanced sense of awareness and charity for others. It’s one of the most beautiful side effects of this journey, and another comfort to me that I am on the right path for me.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by DarkJedi » 24 Apr 2018, 16:18

Anyway, what does "ministering" mean to you?
My idea of ministering is very broad, does not depend on monthly or even regular visits, and it depends largely on the minister and the person being ministered to (and those two aren't mutually exclusive). Ministering to the "widow" who is old, lonely and perhaps mostly homebound might include regular visits, phone calls, emails, a meal now and again, and maybe some "temporal" service. It also includes saying hi to someone in the hall (especially if I don't usually talk to them). And it includes almost any even minimally nice thing in between there.

There are a few in our ward who are almost exclusively focused on temporal service - home repairs, stacking firewood, moving, etc. There's nothing wrong with that and I participate as time and physical ability allow. But in truth I wonder if some of them are so focused on that part of service/ministering that they totally miss that there are other types of ministering which might be more important even for that individual being served. "We stacked that wood, they're all set for the winter, what else could they possibly need?"

I have given some thought to telling the EQP who I might like to visit. I have long favored that idea, but I do recognize the pitfall that if we all did that and only chose our friends or those we like some people would be left out. FWIW, in that case I would likely agree to minister to one or two of them, perhaps with caveats (such as I will not visit often, etc., or I will give minimal attention to the hardcore inactives unless they show interest in my ministering). Anyway, I also considered that people I might ask for might also be close just for convenience - it's much easier to help someone who lives a mile or two away (we have a geographically large ward/stake). But THEN, I thought, well if I did Brother A who lives closest to me and who is retired and is one of those people more focused on physical service, he'd probably ask for things like help with cleaning out his garage - something he and his wife are fully capable of. I'm not saying that helping clean the garage wouldn't be ministering, it's just not necessarily my kind of ministering and because they can do it themselves I'm not sure I would actually be meeting a need. (Yes, I recognize I could be meeting a social or other need by helping them - it probably just wouldn't feel like it at the time.) I probably won't ask to pick my people but I will also reserve the right to let the EQP know they might want to find someone else if it's someone I don't care for (I am far from perfect in that aspect - if I don't like you I don't like you. Period. And if I don't like you it's probably because you're an ass and/or think I'm an ass - and sometimes I am.) And on the other hand, even if it is someone I don't like it doesn't mean I couldn't stand to speak to them at church (or on the phone, text or email) and try to ascertain their needs.

TL;DR: Anything nice, even a very very small nicety, is ministering.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Ann
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Re: Home Teaching is Over, Long Live Home Teaching?

Post by Ann » 25 Apr 2018, 01:20

I went visiting teaching today because we haven’t gotten training yet. I think I’m going to like ministering because of (I assume?) less reporting hassle and hard deadlines, but I was just struck today by the beauty of it all. That I could be there as she opened up and gave us a window into her inner life.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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