This weekend's tip: No "DNC" on membership records

Discuss questions around local unit policies for membership (creating records, transferring records, etc.) This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
rickgwilliams
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Do Not Contact

Postby rickgwilliams » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:25 am

I am not saying we should have a list that says "Do Not Contact", in our Ward, we have a Home Teaching District set up under the Bishopric that is a list of people who do not want contact or want their names to be removed from the records of the church. It simply says District 4. No ones feeling get hurt if they see the reports.

But My concerns are that those in the assigned (District) should be excluded from the Home Teaching Statistics. Because they are included in the monthly Home Teaching statistics. We always hover around 50% Home Teaching. When in fact our Home Teaching with out them is about 78%. I understand it is not about the numbers. That being said, The people assigned to the Bishopric's District, have asked the Church not to contact them, they are not assigned Home Teachers due to that fact.

Of the Districts that I am directly responsible for we all have a driving desire to get our home teaching done, just seems like there would be a way to show true home teaching numbers. Doesn't seem the Church is getting true data this way.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:30 pm

rickgwilliams wrote:I am not saying we should have a list that says "Do Not Contact", in our Ward, we have a Home Teaching District set up under the Bishopric that is a list of people who do not want contact or want their names to be removed from the records of the church. It simply says District 4. No ones feeling get hurt if they see the reports.

But My concerns are that those in the assigned (District) should be excluded from the Home Teaching Statistics. Because they are included in the monthly Home Teaching statistics. We always hover around 50% Home Teaching. When in fact our Home Teaching with out them is about 78%. I understand it is not about the numbers. That being said, The people assigned to the Bishopric's District, have asked the Church not to contact them, they are not assigned Home Teachers due to that fact.

Of the Districts that I am directly responsible for we all have a driving desire to get our home teaching done, just seems like there would be a way to show true home teaching numbers. Doesn't seem the Church is getting true data this way.
I think there is a dychotomy of understanding about the doctrine behind home and visiting teaching and the purpose for keeping track of the monthly results and then reporting those numbers to Church headquarters. On the one hand you say you "understand it is not about the numbers." But then you want to create an unrealistic image of the success of teaching and visiting all the members of the Church in your unit's stewardship.

I am sure you have heard the great statement "Doctrine can change behavior quicker than talking about behavior will." So we have to ask ourselves what the doctrine is in doing home and visiting teaching. That doctrine is of course that we all are the children of Heavenly Father and that we came here to gain our mortal bodies, prove ourselves and return to live as He is in our eternal families. Tracking home and visiting teaching numbers is not an end unto itself and should not be the goal of our efforts. Rather it is seaking to reach out to teach, edify, support, and love one another so that we can reach the goal and purpose for which we have come here to be.

Yes it is difficult to reach out to those who accepted the Gospel and now for whatever reasons seek to pursue a course of life distanced from that very same Gospel.

Let us understand the purpose of the home and visiting teaching numbers and the reports sent to Church headquarters. It is not to measure anyone's success or failure. The Brethren leading Christ's Church need to know in as accurate a measure as possible the status of the home teaching and visiting teaching programs. It gives them a metric as to the status of the membership. Hiding the success of reaching out to all the members of the Church in your or my portion of the Lord's vineyard will not provide the information needed by the Brethren. The "true home teaching numbers" includes all the members visited and taught and not just those willing to have the Gospel in their lives.
JD Lessley
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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:46 pm

I drafted a reply similar to jdlessley's, and so I will only add a few things to what he has said.

I agree in that I don't think what you are proposing is "true home teaching numbers." What happens when you hit "100%" according to your proposed reporting? Is the stewardship of your stake, ward, quorum/group, or even yours individually now fulfilled? My personal answer is no, because there are still those on the ward records not being looked after.

As for the people requesting their names to be removed, it is your ward's responsibility to promptly fulfill that request. The Church Handbook outlines the correct procedure for this process.

I highly doubt our priesthood leadership in Salt Lake are only interested in "true" Home Teaching numbers that exclude "Do Not Contact" members and families. Your local ward and stake leadership have the authority and inspiration to decide matters like this. But I will say I have seen some wards and stakes make decisions that help Do Not Contact people get ministered to and looked after, even if not through official sit-down, here's-a-lesson home teaching visits. And those local leaders felt justified in counting the visit as Home Teaching if the visit had substance and the members were cared for, even if they didn't know they were being watched over.

As we consider how to minister to those who are difficult to contact, it is helpful to recall President Monson's counsel in the Ensign article Sugar Beets and the Worth of a Soul.
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coloradotechie-p40
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Postby coloradotechie-p40 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:10 pm

So, this topic came up yesterday while we were in the clerks office. Our membership clerk went through every record and removed the "DNC" in the phone number field (we had a bunch).

He then created a list outside of MLS and put all the old "DNC" household names onto that list and I think he had planned to just keep it up-to-date.

Would it be easier if he created HT/VT Districts, put these households into those districts, and then got rid of the separate list? Is that encouraged? Is it okay? Should he just maintain a list outside of MLS?

I suppose the answer seems to be, great care needs to be taken with this and work with the Bishop regarding the stewardship of the members and their records.

In other words, it doesn't seem like there is a set answer for every unit. Instead it seems the Ward Clerk, Membership Clerk, and the Bishop should counsel with each other and the Lord on how best to handle the situation in our ward.

Thanks~!


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