There is no shortage of posts about Home Teaching. Its origins, history, changes, good and bad attributes of home teachers, 100% home teaching….it’s a real hot topic.
Like most others, I have my own opinions about home teaching. As a young boy I had wonderful experiences visiting families, as an older teenager I felt too cool for home teaching. As an adult, sometimes finding the time is difficult. Indeed, many people don’t want monthly visits and the mould of home teaching doesn’t fit many people.
As a newly called (and for the first time) Branch President in a small country town only a handful of members, I inherited a Branch with a non-existent home teaching program. I tried with the standard focus on companionships and accountability. I tried everything in the Handbook. It didn’t work.
What should I do? How could we, as a Branch, care for one another?
As an emergency service worker, my office was just across the road from the local KFC. It was not uncommon for a few of us to get a bucket of chicken to share on a night shift. It was a chance to relax and enjoy one another’s company and forget about work for half an hour. Then the thought came to me…..let’s combine home teaching and KFC!!
And that is exactly what we did!!!
On the second Tuesday of the month I had all the youth and male adults get together at the apartment of the Senior Missionary couple. We started with a prayer and then assigned companionships, based on how many we had. The members were previously contacted and it quickly became well known that that Tuesday night was home teaching night. We would drive around and visit with most families in the Branch, focusing on those who needed the visits. When we were all done, I got some KFC on the way back and we all finished the night with a big feed of chicken. The youth loved it (no surprises there) and the older guys seemed to enjoy the fellowship and the genuine visits with good people.
The youth would tell their friends in other wards what we did. They were jealous. I told many people I knew. Reactions ranged from “Great idea” to “That’s not what the Handbook says”.
***Stats alert*** We visited most people most months for about 4 years. More importantly, the Branch grew from about 20 to nearly 50. We went from meeting in a high school to our own space in an office type set up. We had 98 people at the new chapel opening. ***End stats alert***
***Pride alert*** Our youth were strong, our adults likewise. People came back. Some long term less active made monumental changes in their lives. The spirit was very strong – and we had lots of fun!! ***End pride alert***
So, what have you or your Ward or Branch done to do Home Teaching a bit different?
Was there resistance?
Did it involve food?