I have a suggestion that revolves around the appropriate management of less active members. This idea helps implement the balance between respecting peoples wishes who do not be visited, and going to the rescue.
The idea revolves around ward leaders recording in MLS or lds.org a status, a date, and the person updating the status.
Some useful status categories that I have thought of are below.
1. Hostile and not visitable
2. Friendly, explicitly not interested and not visitable
3. Friendly, explicitly not interested but visitable
4. Friendly, low interest or unknown interest, but visitable.
5. Friendly, extremely hard to contact and/or evasive.
These all have different ways of handling. For instance, for someone who was recently reported as hostile, leaders could advise all others (including missionaries) that this person should not be contacted for say 2 years. This prevents them getting more upset and gives them some time to allow their hearts to perhaps soften, and diverts the ward reactivation efforts to more productive areas.
If a general delay policy could be agreed upon for each status category above, it's then possible to start producing data that can turn into a visiting schedule for people who have previously been uninterested. This may be very useful in the ward council who could then assign who the most appropriate person is to try to contact the individual again.
This spirit can always override, of course, but this system could just be a really good guide.
Custom fields might currently be the only way to implement something like this, and maybe that's the way to go given the membership department have previously indicated that they do not want membership records showing even activity status. One hitch here is that the date calculation becomes very cumbersome. This is where a MLS system update request might be needed.
I just wanted to throw this idea out there to see what others think.
Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Might want to be aware of this: This weekend's tip: No "DNC" on membership records
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