You cannot solve all problems simply by relying on personal motivation and ability. Have you ever lied down at night telling yourself you will go running in the morning? Did it work? Did it lead to consistent exercise and weight loss? For many, consistency will not happen until others get involved. Motivation happens when a friend tells you they will be waiting at 5:30 sharp because you do not want to disappoint them by not showing up.
Involving other in motivation and ability can create dramatic effects which lead to permanent change. The power of peer pressure has a long history. When dealing with peer pressure it is important to leave manipulation out of the mix. The Elder’s Quorum President would never want to abuse his influence and pressure an action simply to acquire a number.
The Power of Everyone
You do not need to create consistent home teachers you need to create a movement (social motivation). This requires you to teach the quorum how to work as a team (social ability). Many perceive home teaching as an assignment that ends with a phone call at the end of the month asking how you did. When someone is part of a movement they do remarkable things in order to achieve the goal. This is the desire of all quorum presidents and the place to begin is making the “undiscussables” discussable.
Discussing home teaching in quorum meeting can quickly turn awkward. Stop telling them what they are doing wrong and start asking them how the quorum can succeed. Here are some questions that might start such a discussion:
- Does the way we assign home teaching seem useless?
- Why does home teaching feel empty at times?
- Does anyone feel nothing would change if we stopped trying to home teach?
- What do you really want out of home teaching?
Get to the heart of the matter and create safety in the discussion. Let them know it is okay to say things like, “I hate the constant nagging from the quorum presidency.” “It’s frustrating when my home teaching families change every other month.” “I don’t think anything is being accomplished with home teaching. I ask them what we can do for them and they say ‘nothing’.” When you start having an honest discussion with your quorum you begin fixing the problem together – you move towards a solution together. When you have a mutual solution motivation is more likely.
Creating a mutual purpose is the first step in social influence. You now have an army that is fighting for the same cause. Here are a few ideas to integrate social motivation and ability into home teaching:
- Instead of assigning families to companionships assign a group of names to a group of people. When you allow a group of people to determine how to watch over those families their brainstorming will likely be more successful than anything the quorum president can think of on his own.
- Allow quorum members to pick their own home teaching companion. (This has been mentioned before HERE) When they are given such autonomy they generally pick someone they feel comfortable working with. This will lead to more coordination between the two which will lead to more visits.
- Seek out positive home teaching experiences during your one-on-one home teaching interview. Ask those that have a motivating experience to share it during the next quorum meeting. Hearing these from their fellow quorum members can have a stronger impact than hearing it from the quorum leader.
- Organize a quorum/district blitz. Split the quorum up into districts and give them a portion of the list of families to be visited. Pick a Saturday when most can participate as a group and knock on the door of each family. When they hear a knock at the door and see the small army of priesthood outside they will never forget it. Have someone share a quick scripture and testimony and then move on to the next house. I am not purposing this be done every month — maybe try it a few times a year as a fun activity and to show the ward the support they have. It helps unify the quorum in the home teaching cause.
Share your ideas of how to create social influence with home teaching below.
Solving Home Teaching Through the Six-Source Model is a series of posts based off of the book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything.