...Making a commitment,
however, is not all we discussed on Sunday: we took a close look at
ourselves, where we have “met the mark” as home ministers, and where
we have not. Life
teaches us that:
who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.’
Consequently, we had
an honest discussion (at our meeting) over why most attempts at
home ministry have fizzled out in recent years....
...The answer very
likely lies within ourselves as ministers and members. Several honest answers were
offered, and a common theme surfaced:
have usually felt a lack
of continuing purpose or
focus when visiting members’ homes (i.e. “Why am I really
here?”), and equally important, families receiving ministry have
also wondered what the real purpose is (i.e. “Why are THEY really
It is my belief that
home ministry was not just added to the D & C in 1830, to augment
the ministry of the restoration movement, but rather was a priesthood
function restored, as were all the other functions of the
priesthood, since the church of the firstborn.
To some, the idea of
a “program” to coordinate home ministry first connotes images of a
dry, spirit-lacking, dead-end effort of man to put structure to what
should be a free flowing manifestation of the spirit.
challenge any brother in this regard, but would simply ask all to
consider this: Do we have
the fruit to bear today that our response to God’s Holy Spirit
has produced consistent ministry in the homes according to the
Of course the
workings of the Holy Spirit has to be the first and foremost part of our
purpose, and I believe it will be, if we are found anxiously engaged in
a good cause.
But how can we 'shepherd
the flock' if we don’t purposefully count the sheep? Our ultimate desire is to
minister, but sometimes we need to “ad-minister” in order that the
Saints receive the ministry they deserve.
As I see it, the
structure of the home ministry “program” can be summed up in three
words: to encourage
Simply put, the most
important element to home
ministry is being there--being in the homes. And that is the main
purpose, to get ministers to the Saints’ homes in a consistent manner.
If we are willing to move our feet, I believe the Lord will direct our
When we shared
testimonies on Sunday relating why we “failed” to maintain
consistent home ministry in the past, no one ever shared any evidence
that a force or policy external to the congregation required us to
discontinue home visiting.
Furthermore, no one
could recall that families receiving ministry ever responded negatively,
or indicated they were not pleased with having the priesthood in their
homes. After all, its
mainly “ourselves” visiting “each other.” The conclusion revealed that a
lack of purpose, without a commonly understood goal among the men
visiting, caused an eventual lack of enthusiasm, lack of focus, and
ultimately lack of visiting priesthood.
In considering the
need and purpose for home ministry, I have found it convenient to
compare it to the Saints’ need
for communion, the Holy Supper of the Lord. Consider several parallels:
is to be a regular part of our spiritual “dietary requirement”, not
a haphazard occurrence; the Saints needs home visiting on a regular
is administered to the body of assembled Saints according to an orderly
plan to make sure everyone is served; an order is needed to insure
Saints are visited in the homes, too.
one priesthood member is asked to shoulder an undue burden in
administering the sacrament, the workload is divided appropriately to be
handled easily and efficiently; if we take on reasonable
responsibilities, no one individual will feel over-burdened.
baptized members are to receive of the communion according to the plan;
with home visiting, it’s great to visit members as special needs and
inspiration directs, but all need this ministry and it’s important
we make sure all get counted.
priesthood member is asked to serve himself the sacrament, but another
comes and serves the sacrament for the first; likewise, each
household, whether or not priesthood live within, need the services of
another to come in, advocating their cause to our Heavenly Father.
pastor presides over the communion settings; in the same manner, if
we allow the authority that God has placed upon him, to work down to us,
the will of God can surely come to pass.
sacrament service emphasizes “service” to those receiving, rather
than enamoring those ministering; in the same manner, we would do
well if we wore emotional “blinders” when serving fellow families,
not feeling like “what’s in it for me,” but recognizing home
ministry as simply a sacrifice of love.
Home Ministry Goals
An outline of our
home ministry commitments:
Become the advocates of these families to our Heavenly Father. They will become your charges.
Each team will be assigned approximately 6-7 families to visit.
Visit your families every three months. Expect to dedicate
about 12 hours of service
in home ministering each quarter to accomplish this reasonable goal.
Schedule! Make your appointments
with your families early on rather than putting them off. The Aaronic priesthood team member should be designated to
make the contacts with families as much as possible. Also, visiting is
possible any day of the week--we are not confining it to Tuesday nights.
Prepare for each home visit with prayer and devotion.
Pray to have the courage and discernment to share the Gospel and teach as
Learn names and interests of all children, family members. Seek them out at
times of congregational fellowship.
Show a genuine interest in their lives and let them know you care
(one idea could be to keep a list of the family members and call them on
their birthdays), in addition to just seeing them in their home.
We are striving for 100% of the homes to be visited every 3 months, and we can easily do
it if we all pitch in.
We will provide an accounting of our efforts to the pastor regularly, for the
edification the pastor’s ministry and the congregation’s benefit.
As a group of home ministers, we will try to meet as a group once each
three months to discuss how
we’re doing, and receive instruction from the pastorate on principles
and messages we should encourage in the homes.
A few final points:
thoughts are reminded of an inspirational phrase reading: Remember, we
shouldn’t be surprised that a small group of dedicated people should
be called to change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever
May we as God’s priesthood do our part to help
change the world for Christ.