President Russell M. Nelson announced Sunday afternoon that the Church’s home and visiting teaching programs will be replaced by a coordinated, more personalized approach known as “ministering.”
“For months, we have been seeking a better way to minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of our people in the Savior’s way,” President Nelson said. “We have made the decision to retire ‘home teaching’ and ‘visiting teaching’ as we have known them. Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ‘ministering.’ Effective ministering efforts are enabled by the innate gifts of the sisters, and by the incomparable power of the priesthood. We all need such protection from the cunning wiles of the adversary.”
This new endeavor is overseen jointly by the presidencies of a local congregation’s elders quorum (adult men) and Relief Society (adult women), and, like Saturday evening’s announcement to combine elders quorums and high priests groups, is part of a larger effort to simplify and improve the Church’s ministry.
Unlike the previous programs of home and visiting teaching, ministering does not include a set monthly message in the Church magazines nor a prescribed way to keep in contact, such as in-home, face-to-face visits each month — even though visits are important when they are possible. The new method focuses on flexibility to the needs and circumstances of individuals throughout the world, coupled with quarterly face-to-face interviews between leadership and everyday members about personal and family needs.