The participation of greater numbers of individuals in the activities of a cluster requires a
strong Area Teaching Committee. Regional Councils should be assisted to learn systematically how these committees emerge organically, as a program of growth intensifies, and contribute to the advancement of a cluster, cycle after cycle. The mobilization of individuals to ensure steady progress of the program of growth is the principal focus of the Area Teaching Committee. It fosters the process of reflection and planning by organizing the reflection meeting, facilitating a sound reading of the cluster’s reality, and arranging for the accurate gathering and careful analysis of its statistics—all of which expand vision, build unity of thought, and illuminate the path for the progress of the cluster. Just as the training institute works closely to guide and accompany the friends who initiate children’s classes, junior youth groups, and study circles, the Area Teaching Committee can encourage and support many individuals to carry out other acts of service, such as hosting devotional gatherings, undertaking home visits, and teaching the Faith. These are not merely activities to be multiplied but fundamental aspects of Bahá’í
community life intended for all. Devotional gatherings, for example, steadily multiply to
include all of the believers in a cluster as well as many of their associates. The teaching
work is broad in scope, encompassing personal efforts as well as collective projects, selected neighborhoods as well as sundry localities, chosen populations as well as chance acquaintances, firesides as well as core activities. In this manner, the participation of more and more believers in the community-building activities of the Plan has profound implications at the level of culture. Devotional gatherings, the embryo of the local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, kindle the stirrings of the spirit and ignite the flame of service. Visiting one another’s homes weaves bonds of love and union. Teaching becomes a way of life.
(Universal House of Justice, to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, 5 January 2015)