3 ways to become more Christ-like home and visiting teachers

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Shepherds of the FlockHere are three tips from Steve Webber, author of “Shepherds of the Flock: Elevating Home and Visiting Teachers to Home Ministers” about what a home and visiting teacher can do to more effectively minister to those over whom they have stewardship.

1. Ask what you can pray for

“First, ask the family each time you visit what one, two or three that things can you specifically pray for on their behalf — even the kids. If you do that with each member of the family, each one will feel connected to you. It softens the hearts of those whom you home teach. Then, just as importantly, follow up the next time and find out how things are going so your home teaching families know you are sincere and genuine.

2. Seek inspiration on how to serve the family

“Second, when you get on your knees to pray for your families, seek out for inspiration for how to serve them. It softens your heart towards your families. If we’re praying for the families we minister, I promise you the Lord will instruct you on what He would do Himself. When we act upon that, more inspiration will come.

3. Say “hi” to your home teaching families at church

“Third, look for your home teaching families at church and greet them and engage with them there and at church activities and make sure they feel welcomed. There are a lot of people who have fallen out of church activity because they were not noticed at church and they felt like nobody cared about them.”

The way Webber sees it, successful home ministering is all about asking the right questions.

“If I go into your house and say, ‘What can I do for you this month, nine times out of ten, you’re going to say, ‘Nothing.’ But if I ask you, ‘What can I pray for on your behalf?’ You’re going to open up in a way you wouldn’t do normally,” he said. “You’ll share more personal things that I can take back to the Lord and petition Him on your behalf. That creates a bond. It isn’t just about the lesson, as important as that may be. It’s about taking care of the spiritual and temporal needs of the families you and I are assigned to. We’re not there to teach a lesson. Teaching is important, and it soften hearts when there is a need in the home. But we are instructed in the Doctrine and Covenants, we’re there to, first, visit the home of each member, and watch over and strengthen the family.”

For more information on the book, view “Shepherds of the Flock on Amazon  or reach out to the author directly at steve@timpmedia.com.

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Jeff Call has covered BYU sports since 1993, including the past 16 years for the Deseret News. He, his wife and six sons live in Cedar Hills.

One Comment

  1. Daniel Baker Reply

    3 ways effective home teacher.
    Long ago, we were told to ask the head of the household what he would like us to present. OK, not good now, many sisters head their husbands. Well ask the adults. I find that they do like to be asked. I think the home teacher’s preparation prayer about what the Lord wants should be AFTER asking the head or adult. And ask the head or adult not just about what to pray for, but if there is any particular subject or type of thing they would like. Maybe the need isn’t about “a lesson” at all.

    I find the idea amusing about each home teacher bringing the same ensign message around as a mandatory thing,giving that as a hello, here is our discussion, prayer, goodbye whistle stop to each other. Think about it.

    I have a home teacher who is bound and determined to live up to the “Teaching” part – a lesson or mini-fireside or sermon. So far it has been contrary to what was hoped for. Oh, and that lesson is preceded by about 20 or 30 “I”s about his own life or associations or whatever.

    After many visits of this time, I told ours: please be interested in us, get to know us, we already know all about you.

    I did not ask the following, but I do ask you: Do you really care, or are you just meeting an obligation, and expressing whatever your latest challenge or excitement while you are at it?

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