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Home teaching statistics on how/why?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:26 am
by chriswoodut
In my most recent two callings, I've been in a position to observe how home teaching works and doesn't work in our Elders Quorum. The Bishop wants to have a meeting to discuss it.

There has been enough turnover in our ward, that I'm now seeing the same old ideas tried again as new ideas in an attempt to improve home teaching. They didn't work last time so I don't think they'll work this time. I think it is time for new ideas.

I know the church has a research department. I am curious how to contact them because I bet they've studied home teaching and what causes it to work in some wards and not in other wards.

Anybody know how to contact the research department AND how to get somewhere on this?

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:14 am
by kirtkennedy
Home Teaching Reporting
Have you looked at a very good 3rd party HT/VT reporting tool called Return and Report? We have implimented in our ward with improving results. Take a look....google returnandreport.org
good luck
Kirt

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:26 am
by russellhltn
chriswoodut wrote:There has been enough turnover in our ward, that I'm now seeing the same old ideas tried again as new ideas in an attempt to improve home teaching. They didn't work last time so I don't think they'll work this time.


It seems you've become the institutional memory of the ward. While the idea didn't work before, perhaps it was the execution that failed, not that the idea was bad.


chriswoodut wrote:Anybody know how to contact the research department AND how to get somewhere on this?


I don't know, but there's a couple of ways to try. One, you can ask you Bishop to go the Stake President and work up through the lines. Or, you can call Church Headquarters and ask the operator. See if anyone there will talk to you.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:56 am
by chriswoodut
kirt1 wrote:Home Teaching Reporting
Have you looked at a very good 3rd party HT/VT reporting tool called Return and Report? We have implimented in our ward with improving results. Take a look....google returnandreport.org
good luck
Kirt


I was the EQ secretary previously and we originally thought that the HT was higher than it was simply because it wasn't being reported. We may have picked up some improvement by better reporting, but it didn't get to the root cause. I have talked to various wards about how they handle home teaching, and if I were to point to one thing that seems to make a difference it would be a constant verbal contact with each home teacher. Things I have seen or heard about influencing home teaching; a mid-month verbal contact with home teachers and regular PPIs.

While I'm a geek and love tools, I have concerns about automated reporting methods. I think they remove the burden of collecting the stats but they don't provide the verbal prodding that seems to influence home teachers.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:03 pm
by chriswoodut
RussellHltn wrote:It seems you've become the institutional memory of the ward. While the idea didn't work before, perhaps it was the execution that failed, not that the idea was bad.


Most of the ideas seem kind of a like a gimmick or are just not effective. Things like: have the bishop/high counselor/somebody with authority give a talk in EQ about home teaching, have a Saturday morning PPI with donuts and basketball, have random 100% home teaching months, and the most common is to just change companionships around hoping somehow that causes the home teaching to improve.

I have about 5 years of EQ home teaching statistics and each year the stats are between 60%-64%. One family visit counts for about 2%. So, all the attempts in the last 5 years have not caused more than 2 additional families (on a yearly average) to get home taught.

Elder Perry came to our stake last year and said the one thing he sees that we can improve is our home teaching. So, it is a big push now in the stake.

I'm really curious about the "why" EQ stats are so different than HP stats. I know Elders are at a different point in their life, priorities, jobs, etc.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:30 pm
by russellhltn
chriswoodut wrote:Most of the ideas seem kind of a like a gimmick or are just not effective. Things like: have the bishop/high counselor/somebody with authority give a talk in EQ about home teaching, have a Saturday morning PPI with donuts and basketball, have random 100% home teaching months, and the most common is to just change companionships around hoping somehow that causes the home teaching to improve.


Personally, I've always thought the most damaging thing to HT was the end-of-month phone call to gather stats. "How many did you teach? 'ppreciate you brother. <click>". Kind of undoes the whole importance thing when in the end all that's gathered is a check mark. If it was a quick PPI, going over each of the families and asking questions, then I think the teacher would be more likely to follow up. Assuming this was a consistent pattern and not a one-time thing.

chriswoodut wrote:I have talked to various wards about how they handle home teaching, and if I were to point to one thing that seems to make a difference it would be a constant verbal contact with each home teacher. Things I have seen or heard about influencing home teaching; a mid-month verbal contact with home teachers and regular PPIs.


Which ties into what I've suggested above. The EPQ sets the tone by how they interact with the home teachers.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:00 pm
by chriswoodut
RussellHltn wrote:Personally, I've always thought the most damaging thing to HT was the end-of-month phone call to gather stats. "How many did you teach? 'ppreciate you brother. <click>". Kind of undoes the whole importance thing when in the end all that's gathered is a check mark. If it was a quick PPI, going over each of the families and asking questions, then I think the teacher would be more likely to follow up. Assuming this was a consistent pattern and not a one-time thing.

Which ties into what I've suggested above. The EPQ sets the tone by how they interact with the home teachers.


I've made those phone calls after people ignoring emails, etc. :) I remember going to a stake priesthood leadership meeting and all they talked about was why HT was important and that HT needed to be improved. As rude as this sound, my thought going out of the meeting was "You got me to a 7am Sunday meeting to tell us that HT is important? I already knew that. You didn't tell us how to improve the HT in the EQ." We were left with the same frustration and inability to improve the HT after the meeting that we had before the meeting.

At the end of the first three weeks of my mission, I remember the absolute frustration of realizing we had spent three weeks trying to talk to people and nobody had talked to us. I hit that wall of frustration wondering if there wasn't a better way. That is how I feel about HT -- there's got to be better way and I'm sure there are people out there doing it successfully in an EQ.

Maybe if I get time I'll try running the phone gauntlet at church headquarters.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:11 pm
by dannykos
One of my goals is to have me (bishop) and my counsellors go home teaching with various priesthood holders kind of 'splits' thing. What I hope we will achieve is:
• Get them out home teaching!
• Show an example (hopefully) of a good quality visit.
• Help them to feel the spirit, and have an increased desire to do it again.
• Allow the bishopric to get a closer look at each family in the ward - and identify directly anything that needs to be addressed at an executive level.

I figure that people won't not bother to turn up for visiting, if one of the bishopric is going with you?

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:09 pm
by lajackson
chriswoodut wrote:I bet they've studied home teaching and what causes it to work in some wards and not in other wards.


Yes, and they put it in Handbook 2: 7.4. It works if a quorum leaders instruct the home teachers personally on their assignments and ask them to report back each month.

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:41 pm
by chriswoodut
lajackson wrote:Yes, and they put it in Handbook 2: 7.4. It works if a quorum leaders instruct the home teachers personally on their assignments and ask them to report back each month.


Yeah, that doesn't really make it happen.