So very disappointed

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SilentDawning
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So very disappointed

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Dec 2016, 20:26

I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I accepted a calling a while ago, at least, an assignment as a teacher council facilitator. The Bpric indicated it was their responsibility to get the Ward leaders to send their teachers to the class during the appropriate hours.

To make a long story short, they have really fallen down on this. The didn't even announce it at church, and even though I reminded them to discuss it in Ward council, and received a positive affirmation they would do so, no one did. When I held it two weeks ago, no one came but one person, and only because I told him about it when I was in the library getting chalk.

Our Bishop saw the lacluster attendance and admitted they should have promoted it better. I said we could try again the following week. I prepared a second time to do it, and the same problem happened. They tried harder and grabbed a few people who came, but overall, it was a pretty dismal showing. I even emailed the people who had attended previously and had given email addresses to remind them.

As a teacher of management and leadership, I know that when leaders don't appear to support or feel an initiative is a priority, it really saps enthusiasm and motivation for the project or initiative. It's like they were initially enthusiastic about it, partly because I was "active" again. But in typical pattern I see in church volunteerism and leadership, now that the moment has passed (3 or 4 successful councils) they are taking it for granted, and seem indifferent to my needs for their support in the ways THEY offered.

That is how I feel now. They are a TON of teachers available during the various times we hold it, but they don't come -- in spite of giving me all these kudos for how well it went in past iterations.

One of my stumbling blocks in the church five years ago was mediocrity and leaders who appear to take the commitment of their volunteers lightly. I was told here that my expectations of people were too high. But in this case -- sheesh -- twice one week after the other??? Since this happened twice in a row, I'm on the verge of backing off on my proactivity and just letting all this die.

Adding to this is the fact that my wife is the Primary President and doesn't even seem to care.

My enthusiasm for this project is at an all-time low.

Thoughts?
Last edited by SilentDawning on 05 Dec 2016, 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LookingHard
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by LookingHard » 05 Dec 2016, 20:31

I would say politely let the bishop, or actually the bishopric, know where you stand and what has happened the last two weeks.

I don't know if you want to consider taking on the role of getting people to (or at least reminding them of) the class.

I can't say I am of the mind that "you are blessed in that you were prepared". That is a bit of a cop out. You certainly don't sound "blessed". Sounds like you are "blessed" (as in remove the "ble" and replace it with "pi" :-) )

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SilentDawning
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Dec 2016, 20:39

LookingHard wrote:I don't know if you want to consider taking on the role of getting people to (or at least reminding them of) the class.
I thought of that, and took some responsiblity by emailing people who were there last time, including the priesthood leaders who are just sitting in Gospel Doctrine during the second hour.

But this has me so disappointed -- why does it almost ALWAYS come to this in the church? Where I do my part, show up prepared, do a good job, and then have to gather up all the responsibilities of all the uncommitted people, this time in top leadership, and do their jobs for them???? Remember, I didn't ask them to do this promotion -- they offered it since this is supposed to be driven by the Ward Council. So, I said OK.

The other thing that gets me is the Bp keeps coming after me to take leadership roles in the Ward. So, with this as the template, I'll be in a calling crying in the wilderness for support, doing everything again??? So tired of that. One thing I do in my own organization to attract good people is let them know in advance they will have my full support, and will be working alongside high powered people. You would think that, with the Ward council driving this initiative, that scenario could at least be possible regarding getting teachrs, who are already in the building to the class I am teaching. I'm not impressed at all.

It was why I started my own non-profit, partly, and have been successful in getting really good, committed people together through the selection processes I used. I see no way of making that happen in any calling in our Ward. People serve out of obligation, it seems, and do a half-ashed job so often, unless you happen to luck into good people.

Makes me want to just suspend my involvement until I'm convinced the Ward council has the commitment to make this work. It's not like the quality of teaching is bad or that I don't have experience, or that people don't benefit from it -- it's because there is no top-down commitment, even after they asked me to do it.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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nibbler
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by nibbler » 06 Dec 2016, 05:54

SilentDawning wrote:... why does it almost ALWAYS come to this in the church? Where I do my part, show up prepared, do a good job, and then have to gather up all the responsibilities of all the uncommitted people, this time in top leadership, and do their jobs for them????
Lots of people do things because they feel obligated or guilted into doing them, not because they necessarily want to do them. Church is a good example of this; with the way we often run the programs, church is more about accepting assignments than it is about following passions. Some break the mold, learn to say no, and only accept callings that are good fits. Some are lucky and get paired up with a calling that they enjoy. Some discover new passions that they didn't previously imagine for themselves. Many get paired with responsibilities they do not enjoy (aka who seriously wants to be WML? ;) ).

What's the best way to boost the morale of people that don't like their calling? It's a tall order. Maybe the motivational speech includes phrases like "endure to the end" (yippie), if it's a priesthood duty (sounds delightful already) maybe it's "you took an oath and covenant to..." (now that you mention it, it does sound fun!). I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it -"Jesus"

So yeah, we're up against the time honored tradition of molding the people to the programs instead of the other way around, then wonder why there's such little enthusiasm to go around. Hey, somebody's got to be the WML. :angel:

I do see this as a failing of your local leadership (specifically the BPric). Volunteers will be hard to come by. It's impossible to run a class like yours without support from the BPric. It's their job to twist people's arms into attending a class that most people don't want to attend (sorry). That's not a dig at you, personally I'd love to attend one of your teacher improvement classes, it's just that most people have attended a teacher prep class in the past and have found it to be as useful as our temple prep classes are at preparing people for the temple.

Harsh. :silent: But I get the feeling that many people thrust into the position of teaching would prefer not to do it. So much so that they also don't have much interest in getting better at it.

Brother Dawning, could you read the first paragraph from chapter 12 in the Teaching, No Greater Call manual and tell me, in your words, what you think it means? :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :P
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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DarkJedi
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Dec 2016, 07:21

I agree with what LH and Nibbler say.

I'd definitely approach the bishop/bishopric and express your concern that they have not given you the support they promised and you expected (very tactfully and nicely, of course). Perhaps you could even throw in the idea that this apparent lack of support influences your thoughts and feelings about future callings. My bet is they are a bit surprised at the lack of motivation on the part of attendees as well and probably thought they could just push the ball and it would roll on it's own perpetually. Plus, they are busy guys with lots of irons in the fire at any given moment. I'm not making excuses for them, they did make a commitment to you, I'm just saying as one who has been there it's not always as cut and dried or black and white as it seems. You expressed some frustration about your wife being Primary president and, if I'm understanding correctly, you feel that she is not supporting you as well as she could in that position as well. As a policy wonk, Primary is the big hole in the teacher council plan. It's easy to say third hour teachers go second hour and second hour teachers go third hour, but Primary teachers have responsibilities both hours and in small wards like mine finding that many subs or warm bodies for sharing/sing time is much easier said than done - not to mention that some of the warm bodies might be more of a disruption than a help. The teacher council thing all comes under the oversight of the SS presidency, actually. How have they been? Can you hit them up for support? It would seem to me the EQP, HPGL, and RSP would also want their teachers to be involved - I don't know about RS, but the worst lessons I have ever been to are all in priesthood meetings (and it's pretty consistently bad in my own ward). How about hitting them up for support? Perhaps in offering their support, the bishopric was actually saying they will support you but the calling is not just to show up and teach - maybe they expected you to do some more cheerleading yourself.

From the attendee point of view, I'd just say at least your ward is trying. Our ward just last week finally called someone to your position. He's a good guy, and a good teacher and I look forward to going when I can - but I realistically don't expect to see a teacher council before January at the earliest, and I don't realistically expect a high turn out in our ward, and I don't expect that with this retired guy's travel schedule (he has a summer home elsewhere) it will really be a monthly thing. And I fully expect that those who need it most won't be there, mostly because of the kinds of things Nibbler pointed out. A little side note: I'm speaking this Sunday on one week's notice (just in the ward, not HC) and I'm not crazy about the assigned topic. As I have mulled over the introduction to my talk, instead of the obligatory "Br. X finally caught me in the hall last week and I couldn't wiggle out of this one so here I am" (even though that's actually true I would never say that, it bugs the heck out of me when people do) I thought I might admit I'm going rogue because what can they possibly do? Not ask me to speak again? Oh, please whatever you do, don't throw me in that briar patch! Truth is I like to speak, and I have pet topics (I once told the SP all of my talks are actually on the same topic, and that's true) but I recognize that most people don't like to. I like to teach as well, but I recognize many people don't like to while some do and just aren't good at it (or aren't as good at it as they think they are) and still others like it and are good at it. Unfortunately, most of the ones who like it and are good at it aren't doing it because of the way the church is set up.

FWIW, Nibbler, I do know a guy who loves to be WML. Not my cup of tea, either, but to each his own. In my book it's right up (or down as the case may be) there with clerk or secretary (any variety). Oh, and I'm tentatively planning to tell the audience on Sunday I believe in Santa Claus - because I do, just not necessarily in the fat guy in the red suit. But I digress.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by nibbler » 06 Dec 2016, 07:36

Yeah, I know a guy that likes being WML too... and people eat broccoli. We live in a fallen world.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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SilentDawning
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Dec 2016, 07:40

To DJ -- The primary had the strongest showing at the council, actually, due to the Exec Sec corralling people -- we had 3 primary and one RS teacher. The primary came because the Bishopric got them in the moment.

I realize the operational challenges, and those can be addressed if we want. But not when we have a leadership that is so unsupportive. SS- they said they weren't getting any output from that branch of the Ward Council, which was a problem.

I realize the Bpric are busy, but again, I go back to the unpaid and high demand nature of the Bpric calling. It puts them in a position where they can't adequately serve and support the members, who are paying 10% of their income to be in full standing. While I realize the idea of "this for that" (quid pro quo) doesn't necessarily wash in the church, but it seems darned unfair that people give so much, only to not have the things they need to make the experience a rich one.

To Nibbler -- here is the first paragraph of the manual you quoted (which I understand is not our mainstream source now).
Part of a priesthood or auxiliary leader’s responsibility is to assist and support teachers. The quality of teaching in the Church will improve as leaders and teachers develop a supportive and caring relationship.
It means each auxiliary has a supportive role to their teachers. This manual is superceded by the new Teaching the Savior's Way program, so there is now the Teachers Council aspect where the teachers council drives the agenda of the Teachers' Council. That is probably the best source -- the T in the SV manual -- for up to date relationships between the WC and the Teachers Council...

I am not going to go into any leadership meeting or meet with the Bpric and politely ask for a change in their commitment. I agree that this is something I would have done years ago, but frankly, I am doing this because they asked me to. I have a lot of other things going on now. And since I lack commitment, I guess I can't be calling them out for a similar lack of commitment.

I think the solution is in personal attitude conditioning. Be thankful for the people who come, and do my best with them...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roadrunner
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by Roadrunner » 06 Dec 2016, 09:17

I'm not sure how your ward has organized the teacher's council, but in my ward the Sunday School president is over it just as if it's another class. You may want to ask the Sunday School president for assistance.

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SilentDawning
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Dec 2016, 11:12

Roadrunner wrote:I'm not sure how your ward has organized the teacher's council, but in my ward the Sunday School president is over it just as if it's another class. You may want to ask the Sunday School president for assistance.
They have one called, but in the words of our Bishop "we havent' seen much from him", which tells me it's another one of those black holes we get on the Ward council or in a calling....that is why our Bpric is doing it.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Vincent53
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Re: So very disappointed

Post by Vincent53 » 07 Dec 2016, 02:12

Yes, from my understanding it's supposed to be driven by the Sunday School presidency and of course backed up by the bishopric and WC. I know that's not much help if you have the traditional SS presidency that looks at their callings as bell ringers. Our ward holds the teacher council once a month 2nd and 3rd hours on Fast Sunday. It's been well attended and the SS presidency is running it. I would tell your bishopric to put up or you're out. It's not your job to get people there.


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