Manners Matter Posted February 9, 2022 Report Share Posted February 9, 2022 6 hours ago, MarginOfError said: I've turned down one calling officially, and hinted strongly that another shouldn't be extended to me as I would immediately decline. The first, I was asked several years ago to be the "Stake Scouting Coordinator." I was somewhat excited at the thought, as I initially thought I would be training leaders and helping them to provide a better program and scouting experience to the young men. When I discussed my vision for what scouting could look like in the stake, they said, "oh, no. We don't want you to do anything like that. We just want you to coordinate and oversee all of the rechartering paperwork for all of the wards." As arrogant as it might seem, that seemed like a mismatch of the job to my skill set and I declined the calling. The second happened just a few weeks ago. My bishop indicated to me that the stake president was contemplating calling me to organize the stake young men camp for June of this year. I advised my bishop to tell the stake I wasn't interested in planning such a large event on such short notice. While I would be happy to plan the camp in general and would likely rather enjoy it, I also know how much stress and frustration are involved in trying to accomplish that task in so short a time frame. I wasn't willing to put myself through that. If they had asked me a year in advance, I wouldn't have hesitated to accept (and I told the bishop to pass that on to the stake). When members of our ward have asked for releases or turned down callings, I've typically pushed to respect their boundaries, but to also change how we extend the callings. Instead of simply saying, "will you accept this calling," I've encouraged leaders to offer three or four days to think it over. I've also encouraged leaders not to stop at "We want to call you to [calling]," but to create a vision of what is needed in the calling. There's a big difference between "We want to call you as a Primary teacher" and "We have been short a consistent and reliable teacher for the CTR class, and [specific child] especially would benefit from having a consistent and familiar face. We would like to ask you to serve as a Primary teacher to help [child] develop their testimony." Another one I remember was calling a woman on the autism spectrum to serve in the Primary Presidency. She admitted she hated working with kids and said, "I will accept the calling, but only because I think it's wrong to decline." At that point, we backed up a bit and advised her that maybe we needed to clarify what was needed of her. We described the needs the Primary President felt were in her weaknesses, and identified that those weaknesses were in this sister's strengths. We also went a step further and advised her that service in the church should bring joy, and if she went a couple of months and felt miserable in her calling, she should talk to us so that we could release her and find her a calling that she would be more uplifting for her. Her attitude changed from "I'll accept this calling because I feel like I have to," into "I have something to offer, and I find it less stressful to try because I know I can an 'escape route' if I really don't like it." she served for two years before the Primary presidency was reorganized Most recently, we had a sister that had declined a couple of callings for a lack of time. But when we called a new Relief Society President, the new president felt strongly that this sister needed to be her first counselor. When the interview was held, she was extended the calling, her concerns about time were acknowledged, and then she was told, "we'll give you a few days to think about it, but before you go, we are going to bring in the new president to talk to you about what her vision and goals are for the Relief Society and how you can help." We then let the two of them talk. The two worked out how they could work around her time constraints and she accepted the calling. I think one of the biggest things we can do to support members in callings is recognize that they all have diverse obligations, time commitments, interests, and insecurities. If we get complacent enough to just name a calling and ask for acceptance, it's hard for them to find their place and get their footing. If we take a little more time to help them discover where they can contribute around their other obligations, I think they are much more likely to accept calling and feel good about what they can accomplish. What a breath of fresh air this was to read! Thank you for sharing. If only every ward/stake gave such consideration. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.