Vancouver Mission Star
This message was written by President and Sister Middleton. It also appears in the Vancouver Star, the weekly newsletter of the Vancouver Mission. It is sent to each companionship throughout the mission.
FOCUS ON OUR PURPOSE--BAPTISMS
When Elder Marcus B. Nash and his wife, Shelley, toured our mission in March, one point was consistently and repeatedly made: to be successful we must link Our Purpose (baptisms) with all that we do. To baptize is ultimately why we are here! To lose focus on that objective is to lose the opportunity to grow the Church as the Lord has sent us here to do.
Our Key Indicators in the past several months show that we are working hard, with excellence in most areas the exceptions being in 3 Spiritual Tours per week by each companionship (and that must be achieved to realize Our Purpose), and declining baptisms in some zones. We feel that our hard work is not yet fully linked to what must be our ultimate goal, baptisms. Several of our zones have realized fewer baptisms this year than last; some zones are down significantly despite working very hard. To correct that trend we must not only work hard, but must learn to work smart. Working smart requires that we link all that we do as missionaries to our final objective, baptisms. Everything we do throughout the day, everything, must be thought of as another tool to help us achieve baptisms. The Lord expects and will accept no less from each of us. Elder and Sister Nash were absolutely correct in noting that Church growth in BC will not accelerate until we learn to link all that we do to Our Purpose. A single word summary of Our Purpose is clear: baptisms. We are here to bring people unto Christ.
Surrey Stake President Bennie Soll Leads His Members to More Than Double Their Baptisms
The Surrey English Zone so far this year has doubled last year’s baptisms; The Surrey Language Zone’s baptisms are up 125% over last year! We have analyzed the reasons for their success. While all missionaries are working hard in both zones, several other zones have equivalent or better Key Indicators, but their baptismal numbers have fallen. President Bennie Soll’s steady, inspired leadership of both his members and our missionaries seems to be the key. President Soll meets for one hour every Tuesday with the four English and Language Zone Leaders. They bring Progress Records for every ward and branch in the Surrey Stake, and they review the progress of every name on their list. They review the effectiveness of the weekly Missionary Coordination Meeting with the ward or branch Mission Leader, and review the effectiveness of the bishop and priesthood and auxiliary leaders in their pivotal role in leading all members to become member missionaries. Our zone leaders who attend the weekly meetings with President Soll report that if any ward or branch leader needs urging or clarification of what they should be doing, President Soll doesn’t hesitate to call them to give loving guidance. Ward and branch leaders are responding magnificently, and the accelerating baptisms are the direct result of his active, hands-on, inspired leadership.
The Surrey Stake is accomplishing what the Spokane First Ward did when they went from zero baptisms multiple years running to 20 baptisms in 2006. At the heart of the Spokane First Ward and the Surrey Stake success was members leading members, and members expecting and demanding full accountability of other members. The assignments are made, they are explained clearly, and then members are expected to return and report when their assignment is completed. It truly is the Lord’s way; it works!
A great New Missionary Focus in the Maple Ridge Ward, by Sisters Brigitte D’Amours (and Linda Pelchat)
“We are finding that the members in Maple Ridge are wonderful! We had a Correlation Meeting this morning with our Ward Mission Leader, Josh Linden, and it was very good. Brother Linden talked about the Vancouver Star which outlined the Spokane First Ward Mission Plan. He was so excited about what was accomplished in Spokane that he has presented it to Bishop Barry Bennett, and they both want to do it. In PEC they discussed how they can implement this program:
· Identify less-actives, part member families and inactives.
· Five less-active focus.
· 100% Team Teaching (a ward member present at every lesson given to a non-member).
· 100% Retention of converts.
· Each member finds someone to teach in the next three months.
· Match referrals.
“Bishop Bennett, Brother Linden, and the other leaders seem to be very missionary-minded, and they want to see their Mission Plan succeed. I am really excited about this transfer.”
Editor’s Note: The inspired vision of members leading and holding accountable other members is spreading. Congratulations to Bishop Bennett and Maple Ridge Ward Mission Leader Josh Linden. We are confident that all wards and branches that adopt this key PMG principle will succeed.
As you check off the important reminders at the bottom of the Vancouver Star each week, discuss with your companion how you have linked each reminder to a potential baptism.
We love each of you.
President and Sister Middleton
(Check off weekly whether you have achieved each of the eight goals below.)
q Ask for a referral name in every conversation with a member or non-member alike… “Will you bring an acquaintance on a Spiritual Tour?”
q Challenge members to Set-A-Date for a Spiritual Tour or a Church event which can be coupled with a Spiritual Tour with their non-member friend at least 3 times yearly.
q Our goal is to find at least one new investigator daily.
q Our goal is to teach 15 or more full lessons weekly…
q …with at least 3 Spiritual Tours weekly.
q Extend at least one baptismal invitation and commitment each week.
q Remember our mission goal: 10 Gospel contacts per day per missionary outside our usual finding and teaching duties. That includes a Gospel message to everyone you see.
q As weekly goals are set for each Key Indicator, pray for inspiration, and set goals that are lofty yet achievable. Our ultimate long-term goal is for at least 3 baptisms per companionship per transfer.
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D & C 82:10).
to read past messages.