Seminar builds strength in using statistics to support growth

Jack Freeman of Kansas plays “Captain Kirk” in a skit highlighting the roles of Area Teaching Committees and other agencies in gathering and using statistics about seeker inquiries and growth activity, during the National Seminar on Seeker Response and Statistics on April 3–5 in Wilmette, Illinois. Also pictured are (from left) Farzin Aghdasi, Regional Bahá'í Council of California; Caitlin Orr, World Center Statistics Office; Hojjat Ighanian, Atlantic region statistics officer; Ford Bowers, Regional Bahá'í Council-Southeast; and Serge van Neck, Regional Bahá'í Council-Four Corners. Photo by Bob Stevens

Greater strength in responding to the needs of seekers, and in gathering and sharing statistics to read the reality of our clusters or regions and support the process of growth, was the principal aim of the National Seminar on Seeker Response and Statistics held April 3–5 in Wilmette, Illinois.

More than 80 people from across the country gathered to share insights and explore possibilities. They were invited from among those who work with statistical applications, including the SRP (Statistical Report Program) and SRPi (Statistical Report Program for the Training Institute) — computerized tools developed by the Bahá’í World Center for tracking progress — and the seeker response system database used to record contacts with those who inquire about the Faith through www.bahai.us and 800-22UNITE.

Participants included Regional Bahá’í Council members, regional statistics officers, seeker response coordinators and regional training institute board members. Many have reported that their capacities have been strengthened as a result of the shared insights and rich consultations.

Accompanied by two representatives from the Office of Statistics at the Bahá’í World Center and facilitated by the U.S. National Statistics Office, the gathering was aimed at improving the effectiveness of response to online and phone inquiries and enhancing collaboration among institutions as they gather, share and use statistics to support the growth of the Bahá’í community.

Examination of several case studies provided specific focus on bringing seekers into local community activities and how their engagement in institute training and service can help move a cluster from one stage of growth to the next.

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