Monday, September 1, 2008

"I become better friends with people when I have spiritual conversations with them"

Here are some inspiring and helpful stories about teaching methods and observations (red color added).


CommuNIqué - Newsletter of the Bahá'í Community in Northern Ireland
1 September 2008 CE



These are actual quotes from people involved in activities in the “Northern Lights” Cluster. They are shared with us by the Area Teaching Committee. These aren’t “Dear Friends, We must….” exhortations—these are the real thing, in “handy bite-size chunks”!

1. How did a new believer come to recognize Bahá'u'lláh?

“We met someone at a social occasion who seemed very interested in the Faith so we arranged to visit her the following week to tell her more.
We went to her house and used ‘Anna’s presentation’ to explain the Faith and covered up to the story of the Báb stopping along the way for discussion.
Soon after she came to our place and we continued the presentation with her. After the presentation we asked her what she thought about it. She said she was deeply affected by it. We asked her if she believed in Bahá'u'lláh and she said yes. We then explained that as Bahá'ís there are laws we all follow and an administration that we must obey. She accepted and declared.
We learned the power of ‘Anna’s presentation’ to help seekers recognize the station of Bahá'u'lláh.”

2. Accompaniment

“I was asked to join a study circle and assist in the accompaniment of the study circle participants.
All the participants naturally become friends during the study circle and with one new friend we would meet up and talk about spiritual things, study a prayer, go to the cinema and other social events.
This new friend had many questions about the Faith and was investigating it, so naturally I offered to share a presentation of the Faith which he was very happy with. I shared ‘Anna’s presentation’ in my own words and with a booklet beside me for prompting.
Importantly I believe I made it clear to him that Bahá'ís believe in Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation of God for today and that if he wished to join us in building a new world he was very welcome.
I learned during and after the presentation that he knew the Faith was global and was for everyone.
He said he was still investigating the Faith. Being direct and clear with people gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions. I will accompany him in his investigation of the Faith.”

3. Making lists to help me be more systematic

“My teaching team met prior to the expansion phase. At that meeting and after I made a list of people I wanted to share the Faith with and what I needed to do with each individual.
I decided to visit a new friend with the intention of raising our conversations to a spiritual nature. It was excellent. We talked about the importance of work, family, building healthy relationships and much more. Time flew by as we both really enjoyed sharing our thoughts. I explained that many of my thoughts and views are inspired from the Writings of the Bahá'í Faith.
He was impressed to hear that as Bahá’í we try to serve mankind. This led into me sharing about the core activities. I explained and gave him the vision of what study circles are for and invited him to join one.
He said he would like to. I am learning that I become better friends with people when you have spiritual conversations as you then begin to understand better their thoughts and views on life. People are more than happy to hear about the Faith. I wonder if I am sometimes hesitant!
He is my new friend and naturally I plan to home visit him and meet up at social events. I’m sure also that sometime soon I will share ‘Anna’s presentation with him’. He is on my list of people who want to do a book 1 and as a trained tutor I am working on inviting others to form a study circle.”

There are many more examples of progress and learning in the Area Teaching Committee’s newsletter. The Bahá'í Council recently asked the ATC to make it available to the Friends throughout NI—please read it, you’ll enjoy and learn!

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