On page 220 of Preach My Gospel it says,"Many wards have found that developing a ward mission plan promotes ward missionary work. Such a plan may include goals, initiatives, and activities to help ward member invite people to hear the gospel." Here is the Ward Missionary Plan that we developed to in relation to that suggestion in "Preach My Gospel"
The Bishopric is responsible for all missionary work in the ward including the teaching of non members
The Bishopric will receive a report of missionary work in the ward each week in PEC and each month in Ward Counsel.
Many Bishops have invited the Full Time missionaries to come for the first 10 minutes of PEC to give an update and receive assignments from the Bishop for less active families or families in need that the Missionaries could help fellowship by visiting It is the responsibility of the Bishopric to ensure that each organization of the ward has a part of their effort focused on missionary work. Because the Ward Mission Leader is in the PEC meeting, those assignments can be coordinated and followed up on through him.
The Bishop will report to the Stake President on a regular basis the status of the missionary work in the ward including the New Member Action List activities.
Each Sunday as the Bishopric receives records for new move in’s, they will be assigned by the Bishop, as a priesthood counsel visit to the full time missionaries in PEC. The purpose of this visit is to first find out the family’s status. The next Sunday the missionaries will report back to PEC on that visit. The new family will then be visited the next Tuesday night by the Bishopric and a report back on that visit the next Sunday in PEC. During the next week, they will be visited by the Priesthood leaders of the quorum they are assigned to and a report of the visit given in the next PEC. Over the next several weeks, the new family will be visited by the Relief Society Presidency and the Auxiliary Leaders of the age group their children fall into. A report back of those visits will be made in the next Ward Counsel meeting. If this plan of visiting is carried out faithfully by the missionaries and ward leaders, the chances of the family becoming less active are almost impossible. Visiting by leaders is one of the most powerful tools we have in the missionary and reactivation programs of the church. When people feel needed and wanted and cared about they stay active. Elder Maxwell mentioned in one his conference talks that there were no less active people walking across the planes because every one felt needed. This same type of program of visiting should also be applied to new converts. If all these leaders visit them, they will almost always stay active.
Activation Through Weekly Teaching In The Home
When an effort is being made to reactivate a family it is normally best to contact them at least once a week. The full time missionaries normally teach investigators at least once a week and the same principle applies to families who are being reactivated. These contacts do not need to be teaching situations. Social conversion is almost more important at first than doctrinal conversion. If several fellowshipping families are assigned to each family being worked with, this weekly teaching in the home becomes less burdensome on any one family. Quorum Leaders should be actively involved in coordinating the weekly teaching program with the Ward Missionaries as Priesthood Counsel Visit assignments. The quorum leaders should be the primary ones to work with the fellowshipping families, using Visiting Teachers and Home Teachers as the primary ones to teach the family and get them on the path to the temple.
Full Time Elders Teaching Investigators In The Home
When ever possible, ask members to let the missionaries teach investigators who live near them in their own home. People who are taught in a members home have a much greater chance of being converted than those taught in their own home. This teaching also has a wonderful power of conversion on the ward member family and their children as they listen to the missionaries teach the investigators there in their home. This one thing will do more to encourage young men to go on missions than almost anything else that can be done.
Ward Missionary Committee
Normally the Ward Missionary Committee consists of the Ward Mission Leader, Ward Missionaries, a member of the Bishopric and the 2nd counselor in each organization. It is not the responsibility of the ward missionaries to do the missionary work in the ward. That is the responsibility of the members. It is the duty of the Ward Mission Leader and the Ward Missionaries to direct that work. The missionary work in the ward should be done by the members through the quorums and axillaries. When the 2nd counselor of each organization is on the ward missionary committee that allows them to help make every activity in the ward a missionary activity. When there is a RS function, one of the central purposes of that function should be reactivation of less active sisters and giving the sisters an opportunity to being non-members to the activity. If the young women are having an activity they should focus on less active girls and bringing non-members. The 2nd counselor in each organization can correlate those activities because they are on the ward missionary committee. The committee can meet as often as deemed necessary by the Ward Mission Leader. In our ward we a seperate young adult and youth missionary committies.
Several of the youth of the ward who are already active in bringing their friends to church should be called as Youth Missionaries. The Youth Missionaries will be called as ward missionaries and serve on the youth missionary committee. They then will help the other youth in the ward focus activities on missionary work.
Have the Youth Missionaries organize social events centered on inactive youth who are under 18. Have those socials at the home of the less active youth (cookie parties)
Have the youth missionaries target individual less active members under the age of 18 and then start visiting them and encouraging them to come to church and church activities.
Have the youth missionaries help the Seminary Teachers to get every youth member in the ward of the right age to attend seminary (including interested non members)
Have the Youth Missionary committee meet regularly with the full time missionaries to correlate with the missionaries about potential youth who can be taught
Have each youth missionary have the goal to give away at least one Book Of Mormon a month
Ask the youth missionaries to set the example in the “I HAVE THE BOOK” program (see the "ASK SOMEONE TO ASK YOU" program on the main page.)
Allow the Youth Missionaries to talk in Sacrament meeting as often as possible on missionary work as the youth speaker.
Young Single Adult Missionary Committee
A Young Single Adult Missionary Committee should be called with one young man and one young woman called as the young single adult ward missionary coordinators.
The members of the Young Single Adult Missionary Committee work specifically with anyone in the ward who is over 19 and not married.
The goals of the Young Single Adult missionaries committee will be:
1. To help every Young Man in the ward over 19 but under 25 go on a mission
2. Have a special Young Single Adult Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School
3. Encourage Young Single Adults after they are fully active to attend the Young Single Adult ward if appropriate for them
4. Help every Young Single adult accomplish the goal of getting married in the temple
Elders Quorum Program
The Elders Quorum Presidency is responsible for missionary work within the quorum. This missionary program should be organized and carried out by the Elders Quorum Presidency assisted by the Ward Mission Leader.
The Elders Quorum Presidency should create a list of less active Elders that they are working with. Where appropriate these Elders can be assigned to the Full Time Missionaries as Priesthood Counsel Visits. Missionaries should report back to the Elders Quorum Presidency each week on the visits made. Many times the Full Time Elders are the only ones that can get in the door of a less active family. This can be the beginning of introducing Home Teachers into the less active family.
The Elders Quorum Presidency should ensure that every member of the quorum has the opportunity to go on a split with the missionaries at least once a quarter.
The Elders Quorum should plan social activities that center around less active and part member families every month.
The Elders Quorum should make a list of all perspective elders and then focus in on one or two of them at a time. Often perspective elders are married to non members and a great deal of missionary work will result from getting the perspective elder to the temple. The Full Time Elders, Ward Missionaries and Youth Missionaries can be a great assistance to the Elders Quorum Presidency and Home Teachers in reactivation.
High Priest’s Program
The High Priest Group Leadership is responsible for missionary work within the quorum. This missionary program should be organized and carried out by the Group Presidency assisted by the Ward Mission Leader.
The High Priest Group Leadership should have an active list of less active quorum members that they are assigning to the Full Time Missionaries as Priesthood Counsel Visits. Missionaries should report back to the Group Presidency each week on the visits made.
The High Priest Group Leaders should ensure that every member of the quorum has the opportunity to go on a split with the missionaries at least once a quarter.
The High Priest Quorum should plan social activities that center around less active and part member families every month.
The High Priest Group Leadership should make a list of all less active and perspective elders in the High Priest Group and then focus in on one or two of them at a time. Often these less active and or perspective elders are married to non members and a great deal of missionary work will result from getting the perspective elder to the temple. The Full Time Elders, Ward Missionaries and Youth Missionaries can be a great assistance to the High Priest Group Leadership and Home Teachers in reactivation.
Home Teaching And Full Time Missionaries
The missionaries should work with the priesthood quorums to get a list of all home teachers who are teaching less active families and part member families. The missionaries should then arrange to go on splits with those home teachers as often as possible and use that opportunity to get to know the less active or part member family. This will also help encourage the home teacher to visit the family on a regular basis. (See the Activation Through Weekly Teaching In The Home section above) These home teaching visits should be coordinated through the priesthood quorums.
The full time missionaries should report all Priesthood Counsel Visits to the PEC and where appropriate those visits should be counted as Home Teaching visits.
Convert Baptism - Retention Checklist
The Ward Mission Leader will report weekly to the Bishopric and priesthood leaders in PEC on the status of the new converts of less than one year on the Convert Baptism – Retention Checklist report. This report will be used by the Bishop to report to the Stake President.
Have the Ward Genealogy Representative go with the missionaries to teach the plan of salvation lesson (4th discussion)
Assign one or more fellowshipping families to each family who have committed to be baptized. These fellowshipping families where appropriate may then become the Home Teachers / Visiting Teachers after the family is baptized.
Have the Home Teachers / Visiting Teachers involved in teaching the last four New Member discussions.
Every new convert (Including Youth) should be given a calling within 2 weeks of their baptism.
Have every new convert go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead within 3 months. (It has been shown that over 95% of them will stay active in the church if this simple action is taken)
Have the New Members addend the Gospel Essentials class for at least 3 months after baptism
Ensure through the Home Teacher that the new member family is having weekly family home evening, daily prayer, and daily scripture study
Ask the new member to help the missionaries find new people to teach by giving referrals and teach them in the home of the new member when ever possible
Individual Family Visiting
Where appropriate, encourage each ward family to go visit a less active families as a family on a regular basis. (in addition to Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching). This will greatly bless the testimony of the visiting family as well as the family being visited. In most instances children can be taken with on these visits.. The visiting family should not try to teach a lesson, but rather make it a friendly social visit. The purpose is just visit them.
Individual Family Fasting And Prayer For Family Members
Families who have wayward youth or less active family members can be invited to join together as a family to fast and pray as a family for that family member. As a part of that family fasting and prayer, the family can also where appropriate, be encouraged to attend the temple often to put the family members name on the prayer role and if appropriate, encouraged to actually stand in the prayer circle and pray for that family member. It is best to have members of the family who are close to the individual join in the fasting and praying rather than just assign ward members to join in.. Details of this type activity can be found in “GETTING THE WATER TO THE END OF THE ROW”
Full Time Missionaries
The full time missionaries should attend the PEC meeting each week and report on Priesthood Counsel Visits they have made that week. Those visits should also be put on a printed form so they can be given to the Bishopric and Priesthood leaders for review during the week in their own meetings.
The full time missionaries should meet with the Ward Mission Leader in a correlation meeting once a week to correlate all missionary activities in the ward and help prepare the Priesthood Counsel Visit report on families they have been assigned to visit by priesthood leaders.
The full time missionaries should work with the priesthood leaders to go on splits with home teachers who are teaching part member families as often as possible.
The full time missionaries should be prepared to leave a spiritual message with every family they have meet with ward members (even when it is not a dinner appointment). The lesson or message should not be more than 15 minutes long.
The full time missionaries should have dinner appointments with part member and less active members as often as possible.
The full time missionaries will work with the Young Single Adult committee to help them learn how to do missionary work.
One of the Full Time Elders should attend the Young Single Adult Sunday school class each week and the other elder the Gospel essentials class.
The Full Time Elders should help ward members meet investigators when they come to church and arrange for fellowshipping families to sit with them during the church meetings. They should also help the visitors get to the other meetings after Sacrament meeting.
One of the full time elders should attend priesthood meeting with the priests each week and the other Full Time Elder with the Elders Quorum
A couple should be called as Ward Missionaries to correlate the ward missionary dinner calendar
The full time Elders should have a dinner appointment every night. These dinner appointments should be with less active, part member and investigators as much as possible. Have that couple work with the full time missionaries and the priesthood quorums to correlate weekly dinner appointments with the missionaries so the dinner appointments can be with less active and part member families as often as possible.
Where ever possible have the husband of the family having the missionaries over for dinner go on splits with the missionaries the night they have them over for dinner. If possible have that husband arrange home teaching visits with less active and part member families he is home teaching.
Active members of the church should be encouraged to have the missionaries over for dinner as often as possible to give the missionaries the opportunity to bring the spirit of missionary work with them into their home and especially to help the children of the family to feel that spirit that the missionaries bring with them.
When ever the missionaries have dinner with a family the family should plan for the missionaries to have at least 15 minutes after the dinner appointment to let the missionaries share a spiritual message with the family.
Splits with the Missionaries
Arrange for the members of the church to go on splits with the missionaries as many nights of the week as possible
The Priest Quorum members should be encouraged to go on splits with the missionaries as often as possible and young men who are ready to turn in their mission papers should go with the missionaries at least once a week until they leave for their mission.
When members of the church go on splits with the missionaries have the member arrange to take the missionaries with them to meet their part member and less active family’s that they home teach as often as possible. Those teaching appointments should be made at least one week in advance and correlated with the Dinner Appointment ward missionaries.
Ward missionaries should be called as couples when ever possible The primary focus of the ward missionary couple should be to be actively engaged in holding social events with less active and part member families of the ward. These social events should be held in the home of the less active or part member when ever possible. Fellowshipping families should be encouraged to come to the social events with the less active or part member family.
The husband ward missionaries should plan to go on splits with the full time elders at least once a week
Ward Missionaries should meet in a correlation meeting with the Ward Mission Leader once a week to report back on the activities of the week so the Ward Mission Leader can prepare the Counsel Visit report for the priesthood leaders for Sunday Morning.
Public Relations Program
A ward missionary couple should called as ward missionaries who have become very involved in community affairs on their own before they were called.
The Public Relations Missionaries will help the members of the ward to become involved in public events and create opportunities for associating socially with non members, so members have an opportunity to meet and associate with nonmembers in other than a church setting.
They will also make efforts to make the community aware of the LDS Church in a positive light, where ever possible.
Aaronic Priesthood Program
The missionary goal of the Aaronic Priesthood Program is to:
1. Help every young be fully prepared to go on a mission at age 19.
2. The Aaronic Priesthood leaders should help coordinate having every Priest who has a drivers license go on splits with the missionaries at least once a month.
3. We have arranged with the missionaries to have every young men who are turning in their mission papers to spend as much time as possible with the missionaries before going on a mission
4. Help the young men to start learning the missionary discussions so they know them before they go on a mission
5. Have one of the full time missionaries attend the priest quorum every Sunday so the young men have a better chance to get to know the missionaries (the other Elder attending the Elders Quorum with the investigators)
Young Women’s Program
The young women’s presidency should target less active young women one at a time in each age group.
The Young Women’s Presidency and Advisors should encourage the active young women to focus attention on the young woman of their age group until they have become fully active
Each young woman should be encouraged to attend Seminary.
When non member young women attend church the young women should socialize with them, sit with them , and take them to Sunday School and the Young Women’s class with them.
Non member youth should be encouraged to attend youth activities when ever possible
The young women who are class presidencies should be encouraged to fast and pray for the less active members of their class
Young Men’s Program
The young men’s presidency should target less active young men one at a time in each age group.
The Young Men’s Presidency and Advisors should encourage the active young men to focus attention on the young woman of their age group until they have become fully active
Each young man should be encouraged to attend Seminary
One of the goals of the Young Men’s program should be to have every young man go on a mission
When non member young men attend church the young women should socialize with them, sit with them , and take them to Sunday School and Priesthood Meeting with them.
Non member youth should be encouraged to attend youth activities when ever possible
The young men who are quorum presidencies should be encouraged to fast and pray for the less active members of their quorum
The scouting program is one of the best missionary tools in the church. It gives us a chance to involve nonmember and their boys in activities at the church that are not church related. This sometimes is the only way we can get them to come to the building. The scouting program is a wonderful way to fellowship less active and nonmembers. When non-member boys come to scouting activities, the scouting leaders should try to involve their parents in activities at the church when ever possible
Nonmembers can be called as a calling to be a part of the scouting and cub scouting program when appropriate so they become involved with activities held in the church.
Where appropriate the Full Time Elders should be involved in some of the scouting activities where the non-members are participating to help them become acquainted with the non-members.
The Primary Presidency and the Primary Teachers should identify children who are not attending church and focus on them. It is best to take one child at a time in each class or age group and focus attention on that child.
The Primary Presidency should correlate all reactivation work through the Primary Teacher.
If each Primary Teacher will focus on one inactive child in their class at a time and do what ever is necessary to get that child to come to church, the parents of the child will normally be activated at the same time.
The Primary Teachers and the Primary Presidency will have a greater effect on reactivating the child if they will remember that child in their personal prayers and presidency meeting prayers.
Sunday School Program
There should be a Gospel Essentials class for less active and new members.
The lessons should be from the Gospel Essentials manual.
The teacher of the class should be the ward mission leader, full time elders, the ward missionaries and where appropriate the class members themselves.
New members and less active members should stay in the class until they have firm testimonies. This should include helping attended the temple to do baptisms for the dead within the first 3 months after baptism, encouraging them to read the scriptures daily, hold regular family prayer, and family home evening, and have a church calling.
The Young Single Adult age less active or investigators should attend the Young Single Adult Gospel Doctrine Class.
Less active and investigator youth who attend Sunday School should attend class with their own age group.
The church has found that 90% of the new converts who go and do baptisms for the dead at the temple in the first 3 months after they are baptized stay active. If you are having retention problems, I would suggest that you make this your number one priority. Get the new converts to the temple. And I am sure you would not be surprised to learn that those who go to the temple to do baptisms when they are first converted are much more likely to get married in the temple and send their children on missions. What are we waiting for. Here is one of the most powerful tools known to retain new converts. Why aren’t we using it?
Individuals and Families
The most powerful tool in the ward to do missionary work is the individuals within a family and the family as a unit. If you are not aware of the church statistic, this should help you see that. President Woods, our full time mission president has told us that when missionaries go out door to door tracing, they are able to baptize about 1 in every 1000 they meet. When a family refers a friend to them 1 in every 2 are baptized. When missionaries baptize people door to door, normally it takes 2 or 3 generations for those people to become leaders in the church (there are lots of exceptions to that of course). President Woods has pointed out to us in talks in Stake conference several times that when the Vice President of a company refers his friend who is also a Vice President of another company, within a year that person is normally holding major leadership callings in the church. Why? Because they have already learned leadership skills. So all they need is the spiritual testimony. People who refer people normally refer people in their same social class. People who are living as a happy family are more likely to refer other people who are living as happy families. President Woods pointed out that we of course believe that every one has the right to hear the gospel and no one person is better than another. But if you don’t baptize more leaders than followers, eventually the ward will really be struggling to survive.
So the main focus of any missionary program should be encouragement to individuals.
All of the programs of the church should be geared towards “THE ONE”.
Reactivation, Retention and Conversion. And that comes by focusing on individuals.
The church’s main function is to support the family Families are the power
behind all programs in the church including missionary work. Ward Mission plans
that are focused on and centered fully around the family and helping them learn
how to do missionary work will always be the most successful programs.
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