Inactivity & Leadership

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Let’s assume that someone in the Church who goes home teaching each month, pays tithing, attends church each week, completes all assignments, and so forth, will be put into leadership positions. Let’s also assume that someone int he Church who does not do those things will not be put into leadership positions. If these assumptions are correct, is the prospect of leadership positions a valid deterrent for a person’s activity in the Church?

36 thoughts on “Inactivity & Leadership

  1. Some people are more shy than others. I have seen cases where the prospect of any type of calling has been a deterant to activity in the church.

    It is a case of a lack of faith.

  2. Well, I don’t know, however, I know someone who was going to be called as Bishop and he promptly (like yes, literally) went inactive. Stayed so for many years, possibly 20 or more? He was inactive as long as I could remember and when I was venturing into my twenties he started coming back. A lot of faith and patience on his wife’s (and children’s probably) part.

  3. It’s a deterrent for me. I used to think it was cool to be the president of something, now I think it’s paregoric and a lot of work, for which you get grief and complaints.

    So I cuss a lot and talk about my association with prominent democrats. No lie.

  4. If by “valid” you mean “real,” then the answer seems to be yes: People are sometimes deterred from activity when they face the possibility of holding responsible callings.

    If by “valid” you mean “a legitimate excuse,” then the answer appears to be no.

  5. Well, I also have the occasional public meltdown. That helps. Like last month when I yelled at the Sunday School teacher (who I adore, he’s my best friend’s husband)for dissing Lot’s wife.

  6. In today’s paper there was an article about a Catholic Priest (age 42)who killed his pregnant girlfriend (age 22) (they also have a 17 month old)after Easter Mass. He cut her head off, chopped her body up and disposed of her body in a garbage sack.

    Are we taking the assumption that activity relates to spirituality?

    It seems to me that often the person called to a position of leadership also holds a professional job such as a Dentist. Does one’s career qualify them to a position of leadership? All things being equal regarding church activity, who would be called to be a Bishop? The Dentist or the ast manager of a quick service restaurant?

  7. Bill,
    I think the cause-effect could be the other way around. Often, people who have good leadership and people skills, in the US at least, tend to be professionals, when you’re looking in the suburban areas of cities where the church is strong.
    If you read the announcement of stake president callings in the Church News, you’ll see that doesn’t always hold around the world.
    One of my former missionary companions is a college professor and is a bishop in Dekalb Illinois.
    In an upscale suburb of Indianapolis, the bishop is, or was, a uniformed employee of the US Post Office.

  8. Annegb of course it is a lot of hard work but with hard work comes a lot of blessings. I can’t imagine shying away from church just because I might get a church leadership position!! I don’t get people some times.. do they actually think these callings just come from their Bp or Stake President etc?Do they not realize the callings come from their Heavenly Father? I can’t wait for Judgement Day and stand there and listen to all the excuses people give for not wanting a leadership position..

  9. Bill… often a person receiving a leadership position is a professional…. all I have to say to that is double snort!!!!

  10. Bill’s “often” doesn’t mean much, anyway. Have you noticed that when a person is called to a leadership position, that person often has dark hair? Or that those so called often like pizza? Or that they often own sofas?

  11. Is one’s leadership position an indication of their level of spirituality? In other words – Would we assume the Bishop to be one of the most righteous members of the ward? Same for the SP.

    Would you consider a person who does not hold a leadership position to not be as righteous as the Bishop?

  12. No, I wouldn’t consider a person who does not hold a leadership position be be less righteous than the Bishop.

  13. you know when someone is telling you something and you sit there and disbelief and do this sbort noise in your throat… like a snort sort of,… my comment of diuble smart was that thos in leadeship professional…I am in one and I am a stay at home wife… so there goes your theory.

  14. Sally – I have no ideal where you live but answer this – Assuming you have had 3 or more Bishops in your lifetime, what kind of work did they do? Same question for your Stake President?

    This next line is not meant to put women down.

    Often – Very often – women in the church who hold leadership positions such as a RS Pres or Primary Pres are stay at home moms. Could it be because they would be an example to other women?
    I know a sister who was in the Stake YW’s Pres and her husband divorced her. She was released since she was no longer married and did not set the correct example for the YWs program. I know there are examples but the vast majority of women in Leadership are stay at home moms.

    Men on the other hand need to be successful in the business world. I do not believe I have ever had a Bishop who worked in a blue collar profession. I know they are out there but I have never had one.

    In other parts of the world, the church works with what is has. Often a skill (blue collar) is considered higher up than say a person who works in a field all day.

  15. Bill

    Your examples still don’t hold much water. I know plenty of single, divorced or seperated women who hold positions of leadership.

    Hmmm, one good example; Sheri Dew.

    Also, where is your proof that the vast majority of women in leadership are stay at home mums? I want to see evidence, instead of just your word. You have all these negative and bitter examples and yet this hasn’t been the experience of most of us here (and elsewhere). Sure, some people are bigoted and class concious and archaic, or what have you. But to tar the bulk of the church with that brush is not only incorrect, it’s unfair. Show us some statistical numbers then maybe there will be some validity.

  16. I admit that not all positions women hold are filled by stay at home moms. Your ward may be very different from mine.

    However, in my current Ward – the RS President is a stay at home mom. The YW president is a stay at home mom – the Primary President is a stay at home mom. Perhaps my Bishop prefers to call Stay at home moms for leadership positions.

    Your Ward and Your Ward alone –
    Stay at home or working?
    Single or married? My guess would be Stay at Home and Married.

    What is your RS President?
    What is your Primary President?
    What is your Relief Society President?

    If you live in a Branch then things change to what is available.

  17. Bill
    “Assuming you have had 3 or more Bishops in your lifetime, what kind of work did they do? Same question for your Stake President? ”
    My first bishop was a city employee working for the water company and the Stake Pres at that time ws an electrician
    My Next Bp was owned a furniture store same SP; next Bp was a graphic artist and now new SP was a photographer. Move to BC to new wards and Stakes, first one works for a car dealership and I dont know who the SP was at the time. Next Bp was a dentist and SP was a carpenter, Next BP was/carpenter and Stake P was retired; next Bp was retired and have no idea who SP wass. Now in this last ward,the Bp is a realtor and I have no idea what the Sp does but he is young and has a new baby.

    This is the 2nd time I have been PP, for 2 different wards, the last time I wasas a full time nurse with 2 part time jobs raising 5 teenagers. Halfway into that calling I also was called into the Stake RS Presidency keeping my other calling. Still 5 kids still full time nurse and 2 PT jobs. In this ward now the RS is a College Professor, the YW President also works full time and if I wasn’t on a medical disabilty right now I would be back at my job as a hotel controller.

    Your thoughts don’t fly with this neck of the woods. Oh and in the last ward I was our RS pres was a pharmasist, and the YWP owned her own store. No stay at home moms here although we all have children.

  18. Our Primary President is a working mother (though all of her children are grown and moved out) and her husband is a non member.

    Our RS President is a working mother.

    Our YW president is a working mother.

    We live in a ward.

  19. Actually, Mum, when Bishop Kilistoff was bishop, President Wright was stake president, and he was a teacher. President Herrington, who succeeded him, was a lawyer.

  20. Sounds like I need to move to Canada. Is your National Health Insurance any good?

    We have 4 wards in our building and 2 Bishops are Doctors, one is a lawyer and the other is research scientist for the government. All Presidents for RS, YW and P are stay at home moms for all 4 wards. Same on the stake level. The SP is the head IT person for a very large firm. The High Council is made up of business owners, bankers, dentist, etc. Some of the local members feel like the wards and the stake is run like a business and members are treated like employees.

    I have been to BC may years ago. Victoria was pretty. How far are you from Seattle?

    Do you think I could commute to your Ward on Sundays? At least during the Summer?

  21. “Is your National Health Insurance any good?”

    Of course it’s good, as long as they don’t privatise it.

    Perhaps the reason so many professionals and SAHMs are in leadership positions, is because they are the ones who are active and most reliable. Not because of what they do, but just because they, as individuals, are so.

  22. “Of course it’s good, as long as they don’t privatise it.”

    Now Mary, you know it’s already got private portions…

    It’s a popular myth in Canada that we have single tiered healthcare.

  23. Yeah I know. But if they privatise it completely we are in trouble.

    I know we don’t have a single tiered health care, but people at least don’t get kicked out of hospitals because they don’t have insurance. Which is a good thing.

  24. Mary – Are you saying that church activity and leadership positions go hand in hand?

    Are there any cases of a person being active for long periods of time and not have a leadership position?

    How many different levels of health care do you have in Canada. In the USA we have one. You pay and you get health care. If you have too little money you stay sick.

  25. No, I am saying, in YOUR ward, perhaps they are given those callings because THEY are the ones that are available. I do think the more available someone is, the more likely they are to help in a leadership calling which requires a lot of time.

    Uh, yeah. I am very active and haven’t had a leadership calling in about 8 years.

    We have social health care. You get sick, you get taken care of. There is also extra coverage for extra things the government doesn’t consider essential. Well, you have to get extra coverage for those things. In everywhere but BC and Alberta you pay nothing for health care (well for the regular health care). In Alberta and BC you pay a premium, but still not terribly expensive.

  26. I have seen cases of where a person is in a high leadership position and then when they are released they go inactive. There might be something to the relation between leadership and inactivity.

  27. And there might be a relation between non-leadership and activity. There are plenty of those in leadership who do NOT become inactive (I have seen more of those than the opposite). The relation between activity or non activity and anything is level of commitment and testimony.

  28. Mary I agree with you about those who have served in leadership positions staying more active than those who have not served in a major leadership position. In my current Ward, if you look at the members who are active that are over 50, the vast majority of them were either a Bishop and or SP. The less active over 50 did not server has a Bishop or SP.

    Would it make sense to rotate more men in and out of leadership positions? Would more men remain active in later life if they had served in a Bishopric?

  29. “Mary I agree with you about those who have served in leadership positions staying more active than those who have not served in a major leadership position.”

    Well, no I didn’t say that. I said there is no relation. Leadership or not, it doesn’t make a difference. The key factor is testimony and commitment.

  30. Mary – I have heard testimony and commitment for years but I wonder if there might be more to it than that. Can a persons testimony continue to grow if their activity with the Church consists of attending Sacrament meeting? If one’s activity was attending a meeting then would they not be about the same as a Methodist or Baptist or Church of England memebr that only goes to Church on Sundays. Is there a reason the Lord provides service to others thru church callings? If so, why would older members whose children are grown be left out?

    You have to admidt that the LDS faith is a family based faith and if you do not have children, you don’t teally fit in as well as a person who has children at home.

    Perhaps each stake needs a ward for adults without children to attend. Then they would be able to serve each other. Just a thought.

  31. Well, I don’t know about that. I had a pretty strong testimony and was really active and dedicated when I was a young woman and single and childless.

    “Can a persons testimony continue to grow if their activity with the Church consists of attending Sacrament meeting?”

    Of course it can. Why not? Are we so weak that we have to have some sort of status calling to guarantee our dedication to the Gospel?

    “Perhaps each stake needs a ward for adults without children to attend. Then they would be able to serve each other. Just a thought.”

    Most do. They are known as YSA wards. There are some Single Adult wards too.

    Yes the LDS church is a family based faith, but we are ALL part of families, whether we have children or not. I don’t see the Church excluding single or childless people at all. Individual members often do so, but certainly not the Church.

    We can all serve each other whether we have children or not. Being in a ward where there are children doesn’t mean we don’t get to serve one another. Why are children a deterrent to service? My favourite callings have been in primary. I personally think more people should serve in primary, then they would get over themselves.

    Oh and you don’t need a calling to serve others. There are so many ways to be of service without needing to tack a title on it.

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