Click above image for the magic
Below is a recent letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of New Zealand to clarify doubts about door-to-door teaching as well as “direct teaching”. I have heard this term (“direct teaching”) more and more but no one bothered to define what they meant by it. Towards the end of the letter, the NSA of NZ outlines their definition. Most helpful.
In the end, it comes down to using your own judgement and taking each and every opportunity to teach the Faith as a singular moment which can not be mass-produced. Sometimes the best thing is to say nothing, sometimes it is to challenge the person, sometimes it is to say a lot, sometimes almost nothing, sometimes to use logic, sometimes to use stories that evoke emotion, etc. Since we are talking about the most fundamental human endeavor, teaching is an art. Not a science.
Can you imagine if, stopping by the blacksmith, Mirza Abu’l-Fadl would have been invited to a Ruhi class instead of having the irksome exchange he did have?
Here is the letter:
In its recent consultations the National Spiritual Assembly has thought deeply about the purpose underlying the calling of these 41 conferences. What message should we take from this action of the supreme institution of our Faith as we draw nearer to the end point of the Five Year Plan? What must we do in New Zealand if we are to meet our commitments to the Universal House of Justice and establish nine intensive programmes of growth?
Inescapably we come to the conclusion that the immediate and urgent need is that the recent calls for a massive upsurge in teaching efforts must be heeded and acted upon by increasing numbers of the friends.
In particular we must embrace the clear and unequivocal guidance from the central institutions in regard to the audacious employment of direct teaching methods.
Learning from clusters in diverse places around the world is showing empirical and positive benefits from adopting these teaching approaches and we have had the hint of successes in New Zealand as well.
One of the elements in many direct teaching projects is the practice of what is referred to as “door knocking.” The National Spiritual Assembly is aware that some of the friends feel anxious about the practice of Baha’i teachers making door-to-door visits on homes, because of their concern that this practice is “pushy” and perhaps amounts to proselytising, which is forbidden in the Teachings.