Presentation on theme: "How to prepare and use a great ward mission plan."— Presentation transcript:
How to prepare and use a great ward mission plan
The Bishop, alone PEC & Ward Council Strong Ward Members New, weak and inactive members; non-members The leaders and members of too many wards don’t understand what role they need to play to help the bishop achieve his goals in strengthening the ward.
New, weak and inactive members; non-members The Ward Mission Plan defines how members of each priesthood and auxiliary organization will contribute to achieving these goals. Elders High Priests Relief Society Sisters Ward & full-time missionaries Primary teachers & children Young men & Leaders Young women & Leaders B RS HP EQ WML YM Pri YW As ward leaders, what is our goal for bringing non- members and inactive members into the church, and what is our plan for accomplishing it?
The ward mission plan is a plan for how we’ll grow the ward through reactivation and referrals The plan’s foundation should be 2 goals: Target for increased sacrament meeting attendance The number of people we’ll find for the missionaries to teach Goals for sacrament meeting attendance & referrals
Leaders’ commitment to lead The second foundation layer is leaders’ commitment to lead by example.
It is as if members have been journeying across a glacier, and are huddled at the edge of a frightening “member missionary crevasse,” afraid to jump across. If leaders push from behind, they will resist. But if leaders jump across first and then turn back with the assurance that it is safe and easy, many will follow. Commit to be leaders! Administration alone will not solve the challenge of growing the church.
Goals for sacrament meeting attendance & referrals Leaders’ commitment to lead Primary Each auxiliary and priesthood organization should contribute a building block to the plan.
Possible initiatives that the Primary could undertake as its part of the ward mission plan Invite families of children being baptized to: Invite families of the child’s friends to attend the service Missionaries deliver invitations and welcome people Child gives talk on the meaning of baptism Missionaries deliver thank-you notes written by child’s parents to families that attended, and ask, “Do you have any questions that we could answer for you? We will invite the community cub scout pack to merge with our ward pack, and hold pack meetings in the church. Or, inspire at least 2 members who are not now active, to accept callings to serve in the Primary. Or an idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Goals for sacrament meeting attendance & referrals Leaders’ commitment to lead Primary Relief Society The plan is built block by block, defining how other priesthood and auxiliary organizations can support the missionary effort.
Possible Relief Society Building Blocks Invite a non-member friend to teach a lesson at each Enrichment Night. Or: Involve at least one non-member neighbor or friend to serve with us in every compassionate service activity. Or: Conduct a monthly mothering class at the church, with a goal that at least half of those attending will be non-members Or: An idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Having the missionaries serve as home teachers to five less-active families must be a part of every ward mission plan Bishop assigns the full-time missionaries to home teach five less-active families Missionaries visit often, in every way serving as good home teachers would serve. As soon as it seems appropriate, they ask if the members would allow them to teach the new gospel discussions Missionaries report during PEC / ward council on these families as if they were investigators – use the same progress forms If a family fails to progress, missionaries take them off their list of five, making a careful record in area book. Bishop assigns another less-active family, so that missionaries always are working with five.
The building blocks of a great ward mission plan define simple, effective ways to engage the entire ward in sharing the gospel When possible, transforms things we already are doing into missionary opportunities Activities that comprise the plan occur regularly and repeatedly, so that they become habitual Each quorum, auxiliary or person involved in implementing the plan has one or two specific things to do. Requires creating new programs and events Activities that comprise the plan happen once or sporadically Responsibility is diffused and vague. Complicated & IneffectiveSimple & Effective
Goals for sacrament meeting. attendance & referrals Leaders’ commitment to lead Ward Mission Teach How Primary Relief Society YM / YW High Priests As permitted by the size and strength of the ward, other organizations can commit to initiatives that support the missionary effort * * Ideas for what these other organizations might do are included in the appendix to this presentation
Sample Ward Mission Plan (building blocks chosen from the ideas in this training document, for illustration) 1. The Relief Society will invite a non-member friend to lead a class at each Enrichment Night 2. The Primary will ask the family of each child being baptized to invite the families of several of the child’s friends to attend the baptismal service 3. The bishop will invite all adults and youth,10 people at a time, to attend a 3-week class on how to share the gospel. 4. The bishop will ask the missionaries will home teach 5 less-active families at all times. We will treat them as investigators, using the Progress Report in each PEC/Ward Council. If they do not progress, or if they become active, we’ll ask the to home teach another family. 5. The high priests will ensure that each new convert visits the temple to perform baptisms for ancestors within 2 months of their baptism. 6. The YM/YW advisers will invite a non-member friend each month to lead a youth activity 7. The elders quorum will hold 4 firesides on how to be good husbands and fathers, to which non-member friends will be invited. 8. The missionaries and the 1st counselor in the bishopric and in each priesthood and auxiliary presidency will confer after meetings each Sunday to list those members who ought to have attended but didn’t come. We will contact each of them that day to say they were missed, to express concern for their well-being, and to invite them attend church the next Sunday. Goals: This year we will grow Sacrament Meeting attendance from 125 to 140; and we will find 24 people for the missionaries to teach. We will do this by:
Goals for sacrament meeting attendance & referrals Leaders’ commitment to lead Ward Mission Primary Relief Society At this point, the ward mission plan is a document that defines the goals, what will be done, when it will happen, and who is responsible for doing it. YM / YW High Priests It is very important that all active members know these goals, and what their responsibility is in achieving them.
Goals for sacrament meeting attendance & referrals Leaders’ commitment to lead Ward Mission Primary Relief Society YM / YW High Priests The capstone of the plan is to use it as a process by which Ward Council members hold themselves accountable for achieving their missionary goals. Measure progress, solve problems & improve
By returning and reporting monthly, the ward council holds itself accountable for achieving its goals, and searches for better ways to meet them. Progress towards our goal for referrals to the missionaries Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 4 8 16 12 20 24 28 48 44 40 36 32 1 3 10 6 13 18 YTD Goal YTD Actual B RS HP EQ WML YM Pri YW “What can we do to close this gap?”
Using your ward mission plan as a process Progress towards our goal of increasing Sacrament Meeting attendance How: Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 138 140 144 142 146 148 150 160 158 156 154 152 135 137 139 136 GoalActual When: One ward council meeting each month focuses on the missionary/reactivation effort. Time created by eliminating announcements & calendaring from this meeting Ward mission leader reports on progress towards goals Ward leaders, in a problem- solving mode, discuss the effectiveness of each element of the plan and what else they can try.
Who could have been here today who wasn’t? Example for how ward leaders who focus on growing a ward can succeed: Where the Revere Second Ward came from
What will happen as each auxiliary and quorum fulfills its part of the plan? We can’t predict specifically which people who touch the church through these building blocks will accept our invitations to learn about the gospel or begin actively attending church again. But as we interact with more people in the gospel context in ways defined by our ward mission plan, some of them will accept.
Summary It begins with clear goals and leaders’ commitment to lead. Priesthood and auxiliary organizations contribute building blocks to the plan. When possible, transform existing events into recurring missionary opportunities Responsibility for missionary success borne broadly by ward council members, each of whom has a simple, clear role Ward leaders can choose ideas from the suggestions herein, or develop initiatives that are better suited The plan becomes a process by: Reporting progress towards goals at monthly ward council meeting, and Having problem-solving discussions about what else can be done to achieve goals for sharing the gospel and growing the church.
The following pages contain ideas for initiatives that priesthood and auxiliary organizations might undertake as their part of the ward mission plan Ward missionaries Bishopric & ward council Young Men & Young Women Primary Relief Society High Priests Group Elders Quorum Public Affairs Activities Committee Young Single Adults
Ward Mission Plan Progress Report
Possible building blocks from the Ward Mission We will teach an ongoing, 3-week Sunday School class on the principles and methods of member missionary work. The bishop will invite by letter all ward members aged 12 and over to take this class, in groups of ten. (Note: with rare exceptions, this should be a part of every unit’s mission plan. Lessons for this class can be obtained through firstname.lastname@example.org.) Our ward missionaries will commit to serve at one or more regular, specified times each week. This will make them predictably available to help the missionaries teach. They will also use this time to serve as weekly home teachers to new members for 3-4 months after baptism. Ask each less-active family in the ward to host the missionaries for dinner at least twice each year. Or, other initiatives that are appropriate to the ward or branch
Other Ward Mission responsibilities The ward mission leader’s “blocking and tackling” administrative duties need not be recorded as part of the ward mission plan – but they absolutely must be done in a dependable way. Weekly correlation meeting with missionaries Help missionaries lead a productive, problem-solving discussion about progressing investigators in PEC and Ward Council meetings In particular, use this discussion to mobilize ward’s resources to teach the friends and family of every progressing investigator that the missionaries have begun to teach as an individual Arrange for members to join missionaries in teaching all investigator lessons beyond the first. Ensure that each baptismal service is an inspiring experience for the friends and family of the person being baptized.
Possible Bishopric & Ward Council building blocks We’ll inspire the ward members by our examples. Each month in fast meeting, at least two ward council members or ward missionaries will bear testimony about an inspiring missionary experience they’ve had. Each Sunday the ward clerk will List each occasionally-attending member and progressing investigator who did not come to church that day Convene a 5-minute meeting at which the missionaries and a counselor from each auxiliary and priesthood organization attends. They will make assignments to contact each person on that day to express how much they were missed, see if anything is wrong, and invite them to attend the next week. When we ask members to speak in sacrament meeting, we will ask them to bring at least three non-member friends to that meeting. We will ask every person who prays in every meeting in the ward to ask God to bless us to find more people with whom we can share the gospel.
Possible Bishopric & Ward Council building blocks (continued) Each year we will release one capable counselor from the presidency of each priesthood and auxiliary organization; call him or her to serve as a ward missionary; and find a less-active member to take that person’s place in the presidency. With the assistance of the ward mission leader, we will custom- formulate an ideal responsibility for each new member prior to his or her baptism, and the bishop will issue that calling at the time of baptism. Or: Other ideas that are even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Young Men & Young Women building blocks Our advisers will invite a non-member acquaintance to lead one activity night each month. Or: We will transform our boy scout troop into a community troop that meets in our church. It will be led by a ward member but will seek to draw at least 50% of the boys from non-member families. Or: When young men are ordained, we will ask their families to invite the families of non-member friends to the ordination service. The young man being ordained will give a talk about the priesthood. Missionaries will attend; greet guests; deliver thank-you notes from the family several days later; and ask the guests if they have any questions that they might answer. Or: We will inspire each teacher, priest, Mia-Maid and Laurel to find a friend that regularly attends activity nights with them. Or: An idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Primary building blocks We will ask families of children being baptized to invite the families of 8-10 of the child’s friends to attend the baptismal service. Missionaries will deliver invitations and welcome people at the baptismal service, and the child will give a talk on the meaning of baptism. Missionaries will then deliver thank-you notes written by child’s parents to families that attended, and ask, “Do you have any questions about what you saw there that we could answer for you? Or, We will invite the community cub scout pack to merge with our ward pack. We will hold pack meetings in the church, and involve a mix of members and non-members as pack and den leaders. Or, Each year we will inspire at least 2 members who are not now active to accept callings to serve in the Primary.
Possible Primary building blocks (continued) Or, Each year we’ll sponsor a “Teacher Appreciation Night” at the church where each primary child can bring his or her favorite school teacher. Through talks, media and presentations, the children will express their thanks to their teachers. Or an idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch.
Possible Relief Society building blocks We’ll invite a non-member friend to teach a lesson at each Enrichment Night. Or: We will involve at least one non-member neighbor or friend to serve with us in every compassionate service activity. Or: We will conduct a monthly mothering class at the church, with a goal that at least half of those attending will be non-members Or: An idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible High Priests’ building blocks We will take each new member to the temple to be baptized for deceased family members within two months of baptism. Or: Four times each year we will find an opportunity to help a member of the ward who is in need that requires the skill of a less- active member. We will ask him or her to organize and lead a project to solve that problem. Or, Each year we will help twelve inactive members to research their family history, and take at least six of them to the temple to be baptized for their ancestors. Or, We will ask members of an ethnic community in our ward boundaries (Italian, Hispanic, Chinese, Armenian, etc.) to join with us in a name extraction project using records from their native land. Or: An idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Elders Quorum building blocks We will hold a fireside each month for quorum members and their non-member friends that focuses on how to become better fathers. Or: When ward members ask members to ask us to help them move to have at least one non-member friend there to work with us. Or: We will create a special home teaching district comprised of ward missionaries or others who will commit to serve at a regular time each week. They will visit each new member at least weekly for the first 3-4 months after baptism. Or: Other ideas that are even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Public Affairs building blocks We will cause one article about the church or one of our members to be published in one of our local newspapers each month. Or: We will create a “family of the year” award whose criteria are those in the Proclamation on the Family. Once each year we will identify a family in our ward area to receive this award at a ceremony held in the church. Or: We will make it easier for people to learn of our church by Installing call-forwarding on the telephone at the church so that a member can answer calls during the week. Ensuring that copies of the Book of Mormon and other essential materials are on the shelves at each public and school library in our communities. Or, Hold a family / emergency preparedness fair for our community Or, Other ideas that are even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Activities Committee building blocks On Good Friday of each year we will sponsor a devotional service for members of our community that focuses on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Or: We will hold an Easter egg hunt on the church grounds every year for children in our community. Or: We will involve at least one less-active or non-member in the planning and work associated with each ward activity – we won’t just invite them to come, we’ll ask for their help in putting it on. Or: An idea that is even better suited for your ward or branch
Possible Young Single Adult Initiatives Twice each year we’ll sponsor a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the church, requiring that one or two non-members be on each team. Or, We’ll hold a concert in the chapel each quarter, at which we’ll invite members’ friends who are less- active or non-member musical artists, to perform. Or, Each year, each active YSA member will find one less-active member to attend institute with them. Or, another initiative that is even better suited to your ward or branch.