Friday, November 13, 2009

On Home Sweet Home: Bringing the Baha'i core activities to the homes of our seekers

Home Sweet Home

Uploaded by dalyDesign on 14 Sep 09, 5.40PM PST on flickr

Yesterday between the Holy Day observance and our regular home devotional meeting, I fit in two home-visits. In neither case did I call ahead. A recent aha for me is, don't call a seeker if you can go see him face-toface. Calling is too impersonal. Half of the way we communicate with someone is non-verbally. I don't want to just be a voice on the phone. In my book going to someone's house increases the possibility of having a substantial conversation tremendously over a phone call.
I had two prospects and I found them both home and had opportunity for further establishing the bonds of friendship in each case. The Two Debbies had talked last week to a Hilltop artist, a man who with his wife and infant had visited the Baha'i devotional we had in Wright Park some 6 years ago. At their suggestion, I stopped by his studio to give him a personal invitation to come to our arts-oriented devotional. When I knocked on the door, without knowing who I was, he said, "Come on in." The door was unlocked. I went in. He was at his computer, surrounded by his artistic creations in all stages of development. I extended my invitation. He couldn't come last night, but said he would consider it. I said I'll send him some links to the posts I've done on our weekly event.
Next I visited the Coach, a dear soul who coaches youth football in the neighborhood (yes, the Coach is in this picture). It was my fourth visit. He, too, was home, inviting me in immediately. I asked about his job interview he had scheduled for last Thursday. I said I had prayed for him at the appointed hour. He told me what it was like and that he is waiting to hear if he made the cut for the next interviews.
He also told me about how he had just the day before had a conversation with a friend about religion in which he brought up the Baha'i Faith, defending it in the face of the woman's immediate negativity. He had never heard of the Faith before being visited by the friends during the last Intensive, yet here he was explaining to her what it teaches and why he is attracted to it.
I gave him the new Introduction to the Baha'i Faith brochure with prayers. I extended an invitation to come to our devotional scheduled for 7 and mentioned, too, Tim & Deb's devotional with waffles on Sunday. I invited his 7 year-old grandson to come to a children's class on Sunday. He talked to his daughter about her going as well. She said it would be hard to go, because she has an active little 1 year-old. I told the Coach that we could bring the children''s class to the home. 
But what really struck his interest was my offer to study the Baha'i Faith with him right there in his own home. He agreed to that immediately. We'll start next Wednesday at 5:30; yes, I have a study circle the same evening, starting at 7, but that's the best day for him.  
My lesson of the day is, even though our inclination is to invite people to scheduled events and activities, the best bet is to first offer to conduct a core activity in the home you are visiting. Generally speaking, people are simply much more comfortable establishing a relationship with the Friends and investigatingthe Faith in the comfort of their own home. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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