About What? Local needs. Or the mission of the church. As you say, people get so distracted by home teaching and the other hard stuff (hometeaching and temple) that never changes. Or changes for a while due to the commitment of a few people who carry the group....Heber13 wrote: ↑12 Jan 2018, 20:41About what?SilentDawning wrote: ↑12 Jan 2018, 11:22I see it as an opportunity for the quorums and groups to make plans. Everyone is together, as much as possible, so it's a good time to set goals, review progress, make assignments etcetera. But it takes some leadership skill to do it. You have to understand how to direct participation into productive, meaningful avenues, how to filter out suggestions, let the best ones rise to the top, overcome cynicsm, make action plans, and use judgment to make sure any plans actually get implemented.
Maybe it will take time...but for now...it feels like everyone just repeats the same thing...do home teaching and go to the temple. What is this council supposed to produce?
Last week felt like the dumb leading the blind. And we walked away with not much, as if the teacher forgot he had to teach and was just winging it...which...was pretty much like every other week.
2 hour blocks. Let the ward leaders council 3rd hour, but let the rest of us go home. Is it possible our quorum council meetings agree to that? No? Okay...that's what I thought...same ole same ole
It needs to be based on local needs, and, in my view, it involves using concepts from planning we find in professional management, adapted to the unique, volunteer context of the church.
here are a few tracks to run on...the possibilities are endless. You can be purely participative to somewhat directive in what is discussed.
1. Use the first Sunday in Jan or Feb to poll the ward about what they feel is needed in the Ward to improve its ability to further the purposes/mission of the church. A survey could be created to focus on community, spiritual atmosphere, unity, execution of programs, quality of the talks and lessons, temple focus, etcetera.....the list is endless. Based on this survey, pick the items that seem to have the most support/relevance to the Ward. Use these items as areas of focus in the 1st Sunday meetings. Significant power comes from having a unified discussion across groups and quorums, each contributing to how specific areas could be improved. Don't have too many focus areas though, when you start talking about how to improve...
2. Simply exposing the passions people have for their service in their church. I've noticed some people love service to the community, others like simple social activities to get to know each other and build unity. Some like to serve the Ward through more enriching social activities like music concerts etcetera, Use the time to find areas of passion for service and ignite them...
1. In the various groups, give them a blank sheet of paper with each of the four purposes of the church on it. have them brainstorm what they think might be done in each category to meet the needs of the members.
Even More Directive
1. Have the Ward council agree upon areas of needs for the Ward, and then disseminate these to the various groups. Have these groups then discuss ways they can improve on these areas.
2. Alternatively, the leaders of the individual groups and quorums decide what they think the needs of the group are, and discuss those, making action plans...and using the first Sundays to follow up.
So, there is a two phase process -- arriving at what the most important needs are in the Ward or even specific quorum group. Second, working together to meet those needs and improve them through reports and follow-up and continued improvement and discussion of those plans.
Let me give examples of the endless list of needs wards can have -- that I have seen in many different Wards over time.
1. So many baptisms it's hard to fellowship the people all and keep them.
2. Teen pregnancy and young adult immorality
3. A lot of marriage break-ups
4. Lack of commitment from members to callings
5. Lack of unity -- cliques but no real sense of community.
6. Poor temple attendance.hometeaching (the ever present problem)
7. Low referrals from members for investigators
8. Declining Sacrament meeting attendance/increasing trends to less activity among members
9. Burgeoning prospective elders who reach adult age and are never ordained.
10. Youth getting into trouble with the law on a more-than-isolated scale
11. Youth not signing up for missions.
12. Poor seminary attendance
13. People worn out from having 4 different callings in wards that are strapped for people.
14. Sundays that aren't uplifting.
15. People with a lot of welfare needs and financial problems.
16. Lack of strong gospel knowledge by the membership in general....
17. Discussion of needs as articulated by the Stake leaders for the stake, a well as regional issues.
18. Plans and assignments made, but weak follow-through....
19. Burnt out active people who need a pep talk, a break or a refresher -- conversation could be on how to do make this happen and make time for sef-renewal.
And the list goes on....
the needs are endless, even in Wards that may have some higher functioning than others (I served in one such Ward, and while there was strong programs and follow-through, there was no emotional connection or sense of deep community, just a community of doers, that bothered some people).
So, I think the problem you are seeing is that people/leaders are learning how to use the time effectively. I think professional managers would have no problem using the time. And i think it's a breath of fresh air really....
I will say this -- having an hour a month or so to set plans, review progress, and march toward a common goal is a gold mine for the leader who wants to improve their Ward. I suggest people give it time and let people find themselves in it. Let the upper leadership figure out who how to train everyone better in how to do it, etcetera. it is a change for the memgbership, and a positive one -- give it time to mature and become part of the culture.
I am working on an article on effective home teaching....and one of the principles, suprisingly, is to not focus too much on it!!! Yes -- focus on areas of service and contribution that brethren find interesting and exciting. this builds trust with the leadership, energizes the quorum, and provides opportunities for greater activity. I like what the savior said -- the poor you will always have with you. I look at ineffective home teaching programs as the poor in our suite or permanent programs in the church. Don't get so bogged down in them that you remove all the joy and passion people naturally bring to their Wards!