Did you know that the visiting teaching guidelines changed a bit with the new leadership handbook that was written not too long ago? My Mom was recently visiting me, and she told me about some changes that had been made. I didn’t really know what she was talking about, but then she pulled out my March Ensign and showed me this article.
The biggest change? Ministering. It used to be that we were caught up with numbers. We had to report numbers to the Relief Society president or visiting teaching coordinator and let them know how many of our sisters we saw, and how often. But, this whole article is teaching the importance of building lasting friendships, and really minister to the sisters that we visit teach instead of checking them off our list each month as visited. There are several things outlined in this article that we can do to build relationships with those we visit teach. The following are taken directly from the article:
• Pray daily for those you visit teach and their families.
• Seek inspiration to know the needs of your sisters.
• Visit your sisters regularly to comfort and strengthen them.
• Contact your sisters frequently through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mail, text messages, and simple acts of kindness.
• Greet your sisters at church.
• Help your sisters when they have an illness or other urgent need.
• Teach your sisters the gospel from the scriptures and the Visiting Teaching Message.
• Inspire your sisters by setting a good example.
• Report your sisters’ spiritual and temporal well-being to a Relief Society leader.
There are also some new guidelines in church leadership such as who is in charge of visiting teaching, whether or not we need to go as a companionship, the kind of information we need to share with the Relief Society President regarding our sisters, etc.
If you are in a position of leadership in Relief Society, it is most likely that you are already aware of these changes. But, since I am in Primary, I was not. While, there are not huge changes to the order of things, there are big changes in the way that the Lord expects us to visit and minster to His children. After all, we are his children, and so are those that we visit teach. He has no one else’s hands but ours to do the work.