Unassigned families in home teaching

Use this forum to discuss issues that are not found in any of the other clerk and stake technology specialist forums.
1historian-p40
New Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:36 pm
Location: North Higlhands, California

Home Teaching Thread Recap

Postby 1historian-p40 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:03 am

So let's recap: The problem is that the unassigned list is not being worked, and the families aren't being ministered to because they MLS doesn't designate a responsible quorum. Thus, neither quorum will claim the souls, and the families never receive attention.

  1. Can a feature be added to MLS so that when new families move into the ward, they can be assigned to a quorum who will have responsibility over them?
  2. Is there any official statements from the Brethren on how to track these families, i.e. a presidential home teaching route?
Now let's put some real numbers into this:
In our ward, we have 170 unassigned families. Our "statistics" read like this:
70% HP visits, 24% Elders, 1% unassigned, 12% ward.
With 7 families being no contacts, 12 families being New Families, and the rest consisting of Active and Less Active families. For example, all the High priests who are active do not have home teachers.

2 months ago, Bishop divided up families, and we created the 2 routes under the presidents so that there were 0 unassigned families, and then HPGL said, "no" because it brought his numbers down, and that it made his statics inaccurate. Because of the HPGL's disapproval, the two routes were deleted, creating, once again, one huge unassigned list.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 15123
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:04 am

1historian wrote:So let's recap: The problem is that the unassigned list is not being worked, and the families aren't being ministered to because they MLS doesn't designate a responsible quorum. Thus, neither quorum will claim the souls, and the families never receive attention.


The way MLS works has nothing to do with the families being ministered to. Home teaching was happening long before computers were even invented. The unassigned list can be worked if the leaders desire to do so.

1historian wrote:Can a feature be added to MLS so that when new families move into the ward, they can be assigned to a quorum who will have responsibility over them?


I suppose such a feature could be requested, but really, it would make little difference. If a ward cares about the unassigned families, it will take care of assigning them home teachers promptly. Once they are assigned to home teachers, the quorum assignment is set.

1historian wrote:Is there any official statements from the Brethren on how to track these families, i.e. a presidential home teaching route?


The general policy states that Elders are responsible for Elders, and High Priests are responsible for High Priests and Prospective Elders, but that the bishop reviews and approves all home teaching assignments, and makes exceptions to the general rule as he is inspired to do so.

The concept of a "presidential home teaching route" is not official policy -- it is just a way some wards choose to handle challenging families. The policy is that every family is assigned home teachers, but there's a lot of flexibility in how this is actually done. In our ward, challenging families are assigned out to individual home teachers -- home teachers who can have any sort of contact, not worrying about an official visit in the home, but just some sort of contact.

Remember the story President Monson told in April 2003 General Conference:

The work of reactivation is no task for the idler or dreamer. Children grow, parents age, and time waits for no man. Don’t postpone a prompting; rather, act on it, and the Lord will open the way.
Frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required. As a bishop I felt prompted one day to call on a man whose wife was somewhat active, as were the children. This man, however, had never responded. It was a hot summer’s day when I knocked on the screen door of Harold G. Gallacher. I could see Brother Gallacher sitting in his chair reading the newspaper. “Who is it?” he queried, without looking up.
“Your bishop,” I replied. “I’ve come to get acquainted and to urge your attendance with your family at our meetings.”
“No, I’m too busy,” came the disdainful response. He never looked up. I thanked him for listening and departed the doorstep.


If you don't remember how the story turned out, follow the link above to review the whole story.

1historian wrote:Now let's put some real numbers into this:

In our ward, we have 170 unassigned families. Our "statistics" read like this:
70% HP visits, 24% Elders, 1% unassigned, 12% ward.
With 7 families being no contacts, 12 families being New Families, and the rest consisting of Active and Less Active families. For example, all the High priests who are active do not have home teachers.


That's sad.

1historian wrote:2 months ago, Bishop divided up families, and we created the 2 routes under the presidents so that there were 0 unassigned families, and then HPGL said, "no" because it brought his numbers down, and that it made his statics inaccurate. Because of the HPGL's disapproval, the two routes were deleted, creating, once again, one huge unassigned list.


With your proposed software change, what you did manually and was rejected would become the automatic practice. I'm not sure what the HPGL leader would do then. From what you describe, he would have the bulk of the new automatic unassigned list (since he would get all those HP families, plus all the prospective elder families, which must be a pretty big chunk of the less active families). You'd just be right back where you were using MLS the way it is currently designed. So I don't see how it makes any difference in your ward to change MLS.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:04 am

Alan_Brown wrote:

Originally Posted by 1historian Image
Can a feature be added to MLS so that when new families move into the ward, they can be assigned to a quorum who will have responsibility over them?


I suppose such a feature could be requested, but really, it would make little difference. If a ward cares about the unassigned families, it will take care of assigning them home teachers promptly. Once they are assigned to home teachers, the quorum assignment is set.


While I don't disagree with your observations about what the priesthood leadership should do -- and I agree that the HPGL in question here is simply wrong -- that is really beyond the scope of this forum. I doubt that many bishops read this site for ecclesiastical counsel.

The issue here is whether such a feature would be desirable in MLS. It unquestionably would be an improvement -- I believe it would really be a remedial restoration of functionality that used to exist in MIS and disappeared in the newer system.

You are right that none of that, in and of itself, will get the home teaching done. A power lawnmower does not mow the lawn by itself, but it is still superior to its manual counterpart. Right now, MLS lacks the capability to track the bishop's actual assignments without manual workarounds that appear to be undocumented.

1historian-p40
New Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:36 pm
Location: North Higlhands, California

Postby 1historian-p40 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:06 am

The change is that it would then become the official "policy" of the church and place the responsibility for these families with the quorums rather than with the ward. If they were assigned to the quorum it would help them focus on a smaller list of people that they are actually responsible for.responsible for

User avatar
mkmurray
Senior Member
Posts: 3241
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Postby mkmurray » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:10 am

It's just as easy to leave the unassigned families in the Unassigned List within MLS; they you just print that list out every Sunday for PEC. Maybe your bishop should go through that list ahead of time and assign them to quorums to be given out during PEC. Once the bishop has assigned them to qurorums, it is up to you how you want that managed, whether in MLS or not. The list handed out should be given top priority until it is all taken care of (there may be one or two families that aren't assigned yet for one reason or another, but it should be rare).

Perhaps it would be worth it for your bishop to provide some training about Home Teaching. Perhaps it is necessary for the bishop to approach the Stake Presidency about training or questions. Pull out the Church Handbook for guidance.

I think you'll find it imperative for you to get every one of those families assigned home teachers as quickly as possible.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:21 am

mkmurray wrote:It's just as easy to leave the unassigned families in the Unassigned List within MLS; they you just print that list out every Sunday for PEC. Maybe your bishop should go through that list ahead of time and assign them to quorums to be given out during PEC. Once the bishop has assigned them to qurorums, it is up to you how you want that managed, whether in MLS or not..


Again, the issue before us is not the bishop's behavior.

The issue in this forum is the functionality of MLS, or lack thereof. RIght now, there is no built-in method to record the bishop's assignment. (Yes, a workaround is possible). This functionality used to exist in MIS, but does not exist in MLS.

With that functionality in place, the reports reflect the bishop's actual assignments, and show that the families in question are in the quorum leaderships' areas of responsibility. Also, their quorums' actual work product would be reflected in the stats.

User avatar
mkmurray
Senior Member
Posts: 3241
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Postby mkmurray » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:30 am

boomerbubba wrote:Again, the issue before us is not the bishop's behavior.

The issue in this forum is the functionality of MLS, or lack thereof. RIght now, there is no built-in method to record the bishop's assignment. (Yes, a workaround is possible). This functionality used to exist in MIS, but does not exist in MLS.

With that functionality in place, the reports reflect the bishop's actual assignments, and show that the families in question are in the quorum leaderships' areas of responsibility. Also, their quorums' actual work product would be reflected in the stats.

Yes, it appears I posted near the same time you did.

Your statement has a lot of merit to it. Thank you for keeping us in line! ;)

This is the sentence from boomerbubba that has changed my mind on the issue:

boomerbubba wrote:Right now, MLS lacks the capability to track the bishop's actual assignments without manual workarounds that appear to be undocumented.


MLS tracks a lot of assignments, but quorum home teaching responsibilities are not one of them. As I have imagined how this could work, I do see this functionality potentially being a great improvement.

The one thing I am still unsure of is the notion of auto-assignment into a quorum's responsibility. Take my current ward for an example:

We have a HPG of about 20 members, and then we have 2 EQs (with over 75 members in each quorum). Our bishop has had to make a lot of exceptions to the rule in assigning prospective elders and single sisters. I think the auto-assign would be more of a hassle to us than the currently-working, manual process we perform now. But it would be very nice to have quorum specific Unassigned Home Teaching Lists.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:03 am

mkmurray wrote:As I have imagined how this could work, I do see this functionality potentially being a great improvement.

The one thing I am still unsure of is the notion of auto-assignment into a quorum's responsibility. Take my current ward for an example ...


I, at least, am not suggesting that "auto-assignment" take place. As Alan_Brown points out, and your own example illustrates, the system must allow flexibiitly in how families get assigned. Clearly, it is the bishop's call.

The problem is that MLS does not provide a certain place to record the bishop's actual assignment of each family to a quorum. (Purely as a matter of process, I also think it is a good idea for the ward clerk to take responsibility for recording the bishop's assignment.)

That way, the reports clearly show where each family is in the assignment process -- first whether it has been delegated to the quorum, and then whether it has been delegated to a real home-teaching companionship. MIS used to support this functionality explicitly.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 29095
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:43 pm

boomerbubba wrote:That way, the reports clearly show where each family is in the assignment process -- first whether it has been delegated to the quorum, and then whether it has been delegated to a real home-teaching companionship. MIS used to support this functionality explicitly.


Just to add on here - what would be nice is to set this up as a two-step process. The Bishop/Clerk records the assignment to quorums and the quorum assigns it to a companionship.

What I'd like to avoid is the current situation where the Bishop/Clerk is messing with the companionship assignments for the quorum or the quorum messing with the bishop's assignments to a quorum. That way each person can "stay out of the other's area".

1historian-p40
New Member
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:36 pm
Location: North Higlhands, California

Postby 1historian-p40 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:24 pm

Thank you Russell and Boomer Bubba that would work wonderfully. If we can get MLS to add that function. As a clerk i bring up the new movins every week. The Bishop assigns them, and then nothing happens. If i could recorrd those assgnments the bishop could then take that list and work with the individual leadears to make this happen. So what does it take to get this feature added to MLS?


Return to “General Clerk Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests