Many may classify 100% home teaching a fairy tale. Even 80% would be a modern day miracle. Like I mentioned here, home teaching is a unique challenge. It’s hard to compare it to anything else in life.

When a new elder’s quorum president is called everything is new to that new leader–especially the problems. How does a quorum go from 40% home teaching up to 80%? I don’t mean to group every new elder’s quorum president into the “clueless” category because I am sure many are doing it in a way that produces results (If you are one of those please contact Leading Saints so we can share your secret). I have been apart of many priesthood quorums and I have watch the leaders try the same techniques over and over again in order to create satisfactory home teaching results.

Motivating Home Teachers the Wrong Way?

Quorum leaders typically motivate through group pep talks, lessons, or other verbal methods. When the high priest group leader realizes his numbers need a boost he puts together the lesson of all lessons and then stands before his group on Sunday ready to inspire them to become all-star home teachers. My guess is every priesthood member has sat through THAT lesson. There are good ones, when the spirit is present and the leader sincerely asks all to participate in home teaching, and there are bad ones where the guilt trip is laid on thick and everyone stares at the carpet. Whether the spirit is present or not the flaw is in trying to solve the problem on a group level.

“If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.”
— Sir Francis Bacon

Quorum lessons focused on improving home teaching rarely work. In fact, I have made it a personal rule that I will never mention home teaching results or efforts in weekly group or quorum meetings. I tried the pound-the-pulpit-damnation-home-teaching lesson back when I was an elder’s quorum president. When I gave the lesson our home teaching was at 40% and a few months later it was 39%. Nothing happened.

So like Brother Bacon said in the quote above “we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.” This is a strong quote. The new methods don’t have to be completely out-of-the-box but slightly different can truly improve home teaching by 20% or more (I know because I’ve seen it happen). There are many things to tweak in order to improve the results of home teaching (which can be read HERE), but my purpose in this post is to give you one thing in order to improve your home teaching by 20% or more. That one thing is:

Monthly Interviews With Each Member of the Quorum

  • Make monthly interviews your number one priority as the quorum leader
  • Delegate every other task/responsibility possible so you have the time available to sit down individually with each member of the quorum. DO NOT delegate this to your counselors. It is crucial you are the one they meet with each month.
  • Be consistent! At the beginning of each month give your secretary a list of days you will be available to interview. Don’t try and set them up on your own, you already have plenty to do.
  • Follow the spirit and create the best format that works for you during these interviews (spiritual thought, report on each family, personal progress)
Is this over-kill on effort? I assure you the most effective thing you can do as a leader is build relationships through monthly interviews. Being on an individual level changes everything. I would do this if I had 10 in my quorum or 96. I have seen the best results by making this one change.
I challenge you to try it for three months.What changes have you made that have given you a bump in home teaching numbers?
This post was originally shared November 3, 2010 

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