As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said in 1912:
“You must have deep love for one another. Go to see each other and be consoling friends to all. If a friend lives a little distance from the town, go to see him. Do not content yourselves with words only but act according to the commandments of God. Hold weekly meetings and give feasts. Put forth your efforts to acquire spiritual perfections and to spread the knowledge of God. These are the attributes of the Bahá’ís. Otherwise, what use is there in being a Bahá’í in word alone.”
It is enlightening for us as Bahá’ís to reflect on the practice of visiting friends in their homes that was exemplified and prescribed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. In recent years the practice of ‘home visits’ has evolved into a Bahá’í core activity and teaching practice that has attained momentum throughout the world as a service component for participants of Book 2 of the Ruhi Institute Arising to Serve.
There is a current campaign within a number of sectors of the Brisbane Bahá’í community for the friends to adopt a disciplined and systematic culture of ‘home visits’ as part of an individual and team teaching effort the next cycle of expansion of consolidation.
Bahá’ís are encouraged by the Universal House of Justice in a letter dated 29 December 2015 to the Conference of the Continental Board of Counsellors to “visit their friends at their homes and study a prayer together or share with them a theme from the Bahá’í teachings. … and to organise “systematic home visits to the friends who would benefit from deepening and discussions that connect them with the community.”
There are a number of components in the practice of ‘home visits’: reestablishing contact and deepening friendships; sharing the message and mission of Bahá’u’lláh with receptive souls; conducting meaningful and elevated conversations; and encouraging the involvement of fellow believers in Feasts and Bahá’í core activities.
As Bahá’ís we all have the capacity to teach, and to contribute to our community with ‘home visits’. While the concept may be challenging at first for some of us, it is a lot easier when we are accompanied by a friend. You may be inspired by this video The Power of Home Visits.