Originally Posted by MarginOfError
For statistical and reporting purposes, the only number that should be reported is the number of families that received visits. Phone calls and letters do not count (consistent with the scriptural basis of home teaching, that priesthood holders should "watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them" (D&C 20:53).
But let me ask some questions....
What if you have families who want only letter contact? They don't want their name removed. Visiting them is a mistake as it shows a lack of respect for their wishes. As the stats are used to judge the effectiveness of priesthood leaders in administering home teaching, why shouldn't these families be counted as home taught -- at the highest level they are willing to receive?
People who have written name removal letters, and it takes over two years to get the paperwork processed.
Or the family who has moved with no forwarding address, and you've sent mail in hopes of getting a forward, checked with the neighbours, and tried to contact relatives and family members and have nothing? You've tried to move them out, but then SLC sends the record back to you?
Or the people who just don't want to be bothered with a home teaching, in spite of willing priesthood holders to go there?
Do you feel this very letter of the law standard applies?
Personally, I don't, because Stake leaders use the gross number as a judgment of how well the Ward is getting out there to try to strengthen their families. I've seen the gross number used over and over again to decide if the ward is paying sufficient attention to home teaching. For me, it's a misuse of the numbers, as rarely are questions asked about resources available, how many families are on the rolls, or the number of people who simply refuse to be home taught.
I actually went through our rolls once, and found that if I'd done everything I could reasonably do with each family, and therefore counted them as home taught, then home teaching was 90-95%. If went off actual visits, it was 35-45%. This is on a total membership of 200 families in my area.
I'm interested in views on this, as to keep my own personal motivation up, I started reporting Visits/Companionship to the quorum, and set that as a starting point goal for home teaching.
Here are the Ward Stats, on average:
Families Assigned to Quorum: 190 to 210
Home Teaching Companionships: 12-14