Ward Multi-Family Home Evenings - Need Ideas!!!


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Our ward is quite small, not in area, but in attendance (average of 80-90/Sunday).

I'm a newly called EQP and my Bishop wants me to coordinate the logistics of getting 2-3 families together once a month for a combined FHE. This has been passed off by the SP.

I'm at a loss... Though here are my thoughts so far (any others would be VERY helpful!)

Pass around a list to see who is interested to participate (can't force), then identify who would be willing to Host the FHEs in their homes. Also, not everyone is available Monday nights (like my wife who works Swing Shift each weeknight), so I'd have people mark their availability on Sat, Sun and Mon for more flexibility.

The assigned families would be asked to invite a LA/PM/NM family to attend.

Each FHE would consist of a song, prayer, 10-min Lesson (taught by one of the Priests/Laurels/FTMs), then Activity and Treats. The activity and treats would be assigned by the Host family.

Now the logistics of it all. Obviously there are cliques in all Wards, and some families simply will not associate with another. We also want to pair up the older families with the younger families as well. I don't want to be blamed for playing favorites or anything else like that, so I'm worried on how to assign families so it is fair/random. One of my counselors suggested pulling names from a hat. It's silly, but about the only way I can think of to do it at this point.

So, there's where I'm at. Oh ya, and my Bishop wants to meet with me tonight to go over my plans.

HELP!!! Thanks!

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We attend, once a month, a FHE with 5 other couples in our ward. What we have done is rotate who's home it will be held at and the person hosting does the lesson/treat.

Its been fun and the gospel discussions uplifting and enlightening. There are times when its difficult. Mostly I think when its my turn to host/prepare lesson and food. :) Or when the "lesson/activity" isn't gospel centered.

My suggestions are the following:

1. Announce in all meetings and ward newsletter.

2. Send out sign up sheets.

3. Maybe have smaller groups so that its less burdensome for the host, or share hosting responsibility between two or more families.

4. Be open to holding it at the church (yeah, somebody would have to open the building before 6pm on Monday. But if the Bishop and Stake President are on board I don't see the problem.) A bigger room being available, especially for families with children is helpful. Not all families have a room big enough to host a FHE with 5-6 families.

5. Make some rules up front. One I would suggest is that even it only be held once a month so families can still have family time on most Mondays. Another would be that even if a fun activity is planned a gospel message must be shared. And treats must meet dietary requirements so nobody is left out (this is a biggy for families who have children overly reactive to sugar or peanut allergies or celiac, or...I could go on forever. (With adults only shared FHE the treats aren't as big an issue. If somebody doesn't want something nobody feels left out and the host doesn't feel offended...well in our group. With children its harder.)

6. Be very mindful of the people who don't sign up to participate so they don't feel left out. Even if they say they don't there might be feelings down the road.

7. Remember the most important part. We have been commanded to have FHE on Monday nights and church buildings are closed, church activities and meetings are not scheduled on Monday so that the Family is the priority once a week. Combined FHE can be problematic most of the time especially in families with children still at home.

I hope some of that is helpful. Groups like this can have a positive impact on ward moral if done with sensitivity.

Edited by applepansy
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Sounds like a "We're gonna make you be friends... or else!" plan. :D

Everything you're talking about IS the home teaching program of the Church. But instead of going to see them, you're inviting them to you.

Also, do you "force" home teaching? No, but you SUSTAIN it. So, yeah, you can "force" it on everyone. :)

So, guess where it starts? You and your counselors doing the inviting to your homes and running with it. Give it time to create some momentum (if it does). Not every creative endeavor works the way you plan on it, but give it a great effort to see it work.

Remember: what gets measured, gets done. HT/VT is a measured and reported activity. That's one reason why there's emphasis and so it gets done (hopefully).

BTW, Don't forget to incorporate prospective elders into your plan. This can be a great time to help them learn how to give lessons and prepare for missionary service.

Edited by skippy740
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Thanks for the posts! apple, I've been in a Ward where a few families would do their own FHE together, however, this can sometimes turn into a clique by those not part of the "inner circle".

Since this is to be a Ward endeavor, I created the attached sign up sheet. I do plan on sending it to the Aux, like RS, Primary and YW, since the wives are the real time managers of the family. :LOL

As I mentioned, not everyone can do FHE on Mondays, and though it's recommended, it doesn't HAVE to be on Monday if schedules don't allow (like mine).

skippy, you gave me an idea on how to kick off these FHEs, and that is to have those in Ward Correlation be the Hosts to begin with as a sort of pilot program.

We do want the Priests/Laurels to teach the lessons for the exact reason you stated, missionary experience. We would pull lessons from Teach My Gospel to begin with.

I've tried to find search online for any other ideas or any other wards that have done the same, and there literally isn't anything close to what our Bishop is proposing. So wish me luck! I'll report back and let y'all know how it turns out.

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Our ward hosts one in the apartment cabana where the missionaries & several members live. It's open to anyone who wants to come, although 2 families "host"/ rotate through about 2 dozen families making sure someone is there (around holidays it gets pretty sparse as people head home to visit). Everyone pot lucks. The announcement for it is in the RS binder (along with other meet ups, like the lunch'n'play, pool parties, as well as RS committee stuff like temple night & e service auction). Don't know about the guys' side.


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We have this thing in our ward. But it's not run by EQP, it's run by the Ward Mission Leader. It's called the SOS program. I thought this was a Churchwide thing?

SOS = Serve Our Savior, Save Our Souls

So, how we're doing it, the Ward Missionaries work with the Fulltime Missionaries. The Ward Missionaries identify ward families who are going to be our SOS families, that is, they're gonna be our FHE anchors. Then we identify common interests, demographics, etc., in our LA/PM/NM (investigators) with our SOS families. We put up a calendar where the SOS families tell us they want to hold an FHE. The Fulltime Missionaries take this and invite the people who would like to attend. They send reminders and such. It doesn't matter if anybody shows up or not. The FHE is happening.

So, the SOS families decide what they want to do in their FHE.

So, one of our SOS families is an elderly couple who returned from their couples mission. We have several LA and investigators who are elderly. They go do their thing... Usually they have a quiet dinner and talking all night long.

Another of our SOS families is Filipino. We have PM who is Filipino... Last time, we had a karaoke party.

We also have a family with toddlers. They get the families with toddlers coming to their FHE and they have kiddie lessons and games.

I'm a ward missionary. I hold FHE in my house for all new members (newly baptized or newly moved) and anybody in the Ward who wants to come. We don't have organized lessons. I make Filipino food, we have prayer, have dinner, the kids run upstairs to do their thing (my oldest in now a priest), some people navigate to the piano and sing hymns, some people huddle together in the dining room talking, some go to the family room to watch a church video. Basically, the purpose is for old members to get to know new members. This month, we had 11 families and 4 missionaries show up!

SOS families hold these FHE's once a month. Some rotate venues between two or more families, some (like me) just hold meetings every month.

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