The Importance of Good Member Care
Good member care exists to make sure each person gains benefit from their practice so they can overcome obstacles and become happy. This after all is the purpose of Buddhism. When an individual has gained benefit and becomes happy, it is natural to want to talk to new people. If kosen-rufu, the movement to communicate the ultimate way to happiness and world peace, is to spread successfully, good member care is essential.
What Is Good Member Care?
What is good member care? Initially it means building deep friendships, so each person feels supported and part of a caring community. It includes encouraging each person in their practice.
In the Determination chapter of The Human revolution, President Ikeda models what good member care looks like. He describes how he would devote all of his energy to develop one member’s faith at a time, getting to know all about them and their troubles. He would talk with each person until they were thoroughly convinced that they could solve their problems through using their faith to overcome their karma.
A member care visit exists both to develop those friendships and also to encourage and support the practice of the person being visited. You might chant together about a challenge, maybe studying something together, or talking about how to use the practice to overcome a problem in the person’s life.
Member Care Begins At A Newcomers First Meeting
Member care really begins when a new person walks into that first meeting, even though they don’t yet have a Gohonzon. From that point on they should be followed and encouraged through coffee meetings to make friends, through telephone calls to make sure they know about meetings and through answering questions and encouraging their practice. They become part of the SGI family from the very beginning.
Member Care Means No One is Forgotten
Good member care means that the district leaders are aware of what is happening in the lives of each of the members, making sure no one is overlooked and that each person is gaining benefit from their practice.
The men and women responsible for supporting the members of the district might chant together and establish a meeting once every month or two to review what was going on in the district, to monitor who has been visited and encouraged. They might visit anyone who hasn’t been attending meetings for a while or who had been dealing with a difficult life situation.
Most of all member care exists to help each person become happy. This after all is the purpose of Buddhism.
“We Talk About Member Care: What Is It?”, (C) Margaret Blaine, The Practical Buddhist