Setting Goals

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Feb 2018, 19:07

Not that I agree, but they probably believe a "higher goal" like the temple might motivate people to take a "lower step" like attending church on Sunday. I think it simply reflects their own view that the temple is the ultimate motivation - and I respect that, even though I think they are wrong when it comes to reactivation efforts.
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SamBee
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by SamBee » 05 Feb 2018, 04:36

Mormon activity can be measured in fractions. A fraction of those who join stay active, and a fraction of those get endowed & spend a period tithing, and a fraction of the endowed keep going to the temple & paying tithing... a kind of trickle down effect - maybe not a good expression as it always reminds me of pee!
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DarkJedi
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Feb 2018, 07:07

Roy wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 12:34
I believe the two may be correlated but not causational.
I believe this is somewhat common among church leaders, especially at the mid level. For example in my area there is this push to get new converts to the temple within the first 3 months because someone measured some data that those who did so stayed active long term. What there wasn't (at least from the data that was shared) was any indication of how many who didn't go to the temple stayed or how many who did left (although the latter might be inferred). It could be that there actually is a correlation with causation - and it could be not because there is no indication of other factors (or for those of us who like this kind of stuff no control group).

Another example of this is our mission president's rule that missionary dinner appointments have to be at 5:00 and missionaries have to be back out "proselyting" at 6. I get home at 5:30 on a good day, and that seems to be par for the course for many in our stake because people still complain about it over 2 years later. His reasoning is that in another mission the baptism rate increased when the other MP instituted the same rule. Two years down the road we can't say the same thing happened here while at the same time the missionaries get fed less (in our ward it's down to about twice a week on weekdays with weekends being hit or miss). FWIW, our baptism rate was down last year from the year prior. I put "proselyting" in quotes above because I know what the missionaries do in the evenings because I have asked and/or observed - if they don't have appointments (which is often) they goof off. Even if the theory did pan out and there were actually more baptisms, that's still not an indication of causation.

My college son who does some of this businessy kind of stuff says all leaders of consequence (like MPs and AAs) should be required to take a basic course in stats.

Related, our stake has a goal that everybody read from the BoM daily. No set amount like a chapter or anything, just "set a goal to read the BoM daily." As stated earlier, we can't set goals for other people even if we try to disguise it as "inviting or encouraging them to set goals." And how do we measure this goal? Nobody asks me and I don't (and won't) ask anybody. We have a similar one about increasing family history ("invite families to set a goal to increase names submitted for temple work"). The latter is also meant to increase temple attendance because presumably if you found names to submit you'll go do them. I and my family have not set either goal.
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Heber13
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by Heber13 » 05 Feb 2018, 10:11

dande48 wrote:
03 Feb 2018, 23:22
Too often in the Church, we make poor connections between behaviors and desired outcomes. I think this is one of them.
Roy wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 12:34
Are they saying that people that do not attend SM all the time should feel guilty about going to the temple and that the guilt should increase SM attendance. I believe the two may be correlated but not causational.
Curt Sunshine wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 19:07
Not that I agree, but they probably believe a "higher goal" like the temple might motivate people to take a "lower step" like attending church on Sunday.
along these lines...first I should probably state that it likely sounds worse than it really is in our ward...meaning the goal was set...it was thrown to us to discuss in our 3rd hour meeting...and that all sounds cold and actually confusing what they are trying to accomplish and what the causation/correlation is going on with this behind a goal like that.

So...in the class yesterday, I did lead the discussion and find most of the group have a brain in their head and know you can't make silly goals nor can you pressure others to do things, or guilt them.

For example, we had a great discussion around one member who doesn't come to church, but calls his home teacher for a blessing when he needs it. So...that shows that even though people aren't always coming to to church...they still have faith...and they still have some wants from the church where they call on us when they need something.

My HPG are a bunch of good guys that know that everyone is in a different place in life, and we can't pressure them to conform. But...there might be some ways we try to reach out and serve when we can, and inspire others, that if they do want to come back to church or go to temple, maybe it is helpful to have support to do that But we spent most of our time talking about how not to offend...and that comes by understanding them on individual levels and getting to know them and being OK with others wherever they are.

It was a good discussion.

Getting back to the thinking with the goals...I think where it came from was that we have many members who have TRs who are not coming to church, and many that come for sacrament meeting and leave. Normally I would think the goal would be to increase sacrament meeting attendance in order to invite more to prepare to go to the temple...which may be the goal for our EQ right now...but for HP...our group has many families who are seasoned in the church, and are just not as interested in church attendance.

Even still..it may miss the mark...because being lackadaisical to attend church is still curious why they would want to drive 3 hrs to the closest temple.

However...that is the reason the group needs to discuss it, and refine and rework the goal to something we can actually do. Something realistic and meaningful. 3rd hour meeting is about doing that...which is an improvement from just being handed a goal from the ward council. We got to discuss it.

I was in deep thought about it all day yesterday. I liked the comments from our group adn the members were way more loving about it than I gave them credit. But...there is still something that keeps me wondering why goals need to be set...how you motivate people...what is the role of church...because maybe the church should be teaching and supporting people.

To keep going back to the weight loss analogy...they find exercise programs and diets work better when others support you, when there is some accountability to do things. It still takes the individual to do things...but programs and goals help motivate action.

Isn't that what the church should be? Motivation to live gospel principles in order to find more happiness in life?

The risk is it is done poorly and people get offended. The reward could be someone gets motivated by being prompted to do things they knwo they should do but just need so support to help them.

Not sure which way is best, but it seems the church is trying to help people...and yet...will probably offend many. Not sure. Perhaps it is all in how it is carried out, and how much love is involved.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Setting Goals

Post by nibbler » 05 Feb 2018, 11:19

Heber13 wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 10:11
The risk is it is done poorly and people get offended. The reward could be someone gets motivated by being prompted to do things they knwo they should do but just need so support to help them.

Not sure which way is best, but it seems the church is trying to help people...and yet...will probably offend many. Not sure. Perhaps it is all in how it is carried out, and how much love is involved.
You mentioned offense twice.

Is the greater problem offended people or people that feel like the church isn't relevant to their lives? Are people offended by our meetings or uninterested in our meetings?

We like the weight loss analogy...

The church has a program to lose weight. It's jogging.

I hate jogging. In fact I can't jog due to health issues. I've learned to lose weight by getting on a stationary bike. The church doesn't like that. It's jogging. That's the only way to lose weight. Do it. Here, here's a goal for you to start jogging. We'll send people to your house every month to ask how your jogging is coming along.

There are also others at church that don't like jogging and if I try to offer alternatives to jogging to them I'd get censured.

Now...

1) Do I get offended that they don't look at my personal circumstances, acknowledge that I can't jog, and that stationary cycling is working for me? Is it offensive to me that they simply won't leave me alone about how important jogging is and how wrong stationary cycling is? That they impose the one solution fits all program on everyone?

or

2) All the endless talk about jogging at church bores me because I can't jog, even if I could I would hate every second, and I've found something else that works for me. The message at church isn't going to change, so I move on because the only thing the church offers is not relevant to me and the only experience I have is not valid to them. Impasse.

Maybe it's a spectrum and people are all up and down it.

And this doesn't have to be FC related. Believing members that don't fit the cultural mold, or people that are simply bored with church fall into this category as well. Are they offended by their boredom or just bored?

I'm not sure how to work this in but the church is always on people to do something. Attend church. Do home teaching. Attend BYC. Go to seminary. Jog. Attend the temple. Submit a name to the temple. Go on exchanges. Feed the missionaries. The list never ends. We're always telling people what they should be doing. What's the ratio for telling members what to do vs. listening to what they would like to do?

Maybe that's where your offense comes in? Like members constantly trying to get someone that's just not interested in the temple to meet the goal of the leaders for that person to go to the temple. They never shut up about it, mostly because there are only three or four things we're always harping on at church so the subject always comes up, and it either gets annoying or makes church irrelevant because the only thing that will happen at church is more invitations to go to the temple.

But what if that leader asked the inactive what they'd like to do with respect to the church instead of always pushing a plan. Reverse the direction of where the plan comes from.

"I'd like to attend twice a month. I'm not interested in the temple. I'm not interested in home teaching. I'd be willing to do [these] callings." and then that's the plan for the leader to do something about.

Just putting out feelers.

Personally I don't know why everyone has got to attend church every Sunday... or at all for that matter. Yet it can be the culture's measure of someone's worth.

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Heber13
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by Heber13 » 05 Feb 2018, 11:29

nibbler wrote:
05 Feb 2018, 11:19
Is it offensive to me that they simply won't leave me alone about how important jogging is and how wrong stationary cycling is? That they impose the one solution fits all program on everyone?
I would say that is it. I think you hit the nail on the head. The offense comes from the one-size-fits-all approach.

Why do they do that instead of allowing multiple approaches? Time. It takes a lot of time and effort and we are all volunteers, not full-time professionals at it. So...basically...offense is not the big issue...but relevance to the individual, I think.

I think I agree with you.

And I am not sure how to help in our ward. I'll observe what they do in coming months...if anything comes of any of this or if it is just church.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Setting Goals

Post by nibbler » 05 Feb 2018, 12:00

I don't know whether the church can be relative to the individual but individuals at church can be relative to one another. And I don't know how that works at the level of our meetings, which are almost entirely one way lectures.

When people think church they probably think the 3 hour block. Maybe we need to make changes to where we think something else?

Also, the programs want results that can be measured and reported by the end of the month. The custom method takes time and can't be summed up in a quarterly report. But it feels like the church programs are derived from making quarterly reports look good. It's like studying for the end of grade tests by focusing on what will be on end of grade tests and at the end of the year all you've learned is how to take the end of grade test... the principles were secondary.

Well... if it were easy we'd already be doing it.

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mom3
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by mom3 » 05 Feb 2018, 13:32

My grandmother was farmer. She was also a dedicated pioneer Mormon descendant. One day as when we were driving home from church, this was in the 1970's, she burst out, "What is all this stuff about goals? Who needs goals? Everywhere we go that's all they talk about." This was not a dumb lady, but goals never managed her life.

Farming happens out of necessity. You don't set a goal to be a better farmer. You can't. You live at the mercy of a million things. There are no goals on frost, or bugs, or anything like that. Our pioneer ancestors didn't set goals. Life just happened to them. You had 2 choices. Join the group or leave. Pretty simple.

The Goals thing is a business model. A lame one, but that's it's origin. The church lives and dies by polls and numbers. When the Goal-Rush began in the 70's Stakes used to tally how many people attended Stake meetings. Wards actually received commendation for having 80% attendance, etc. Once goals took over, Joseph Smith's idea of "letting them govern themselves" went out the door.

For me, goals guilt me. Whether in weight loss or church. I start hating the scale, but then I am hooked. Then I beat myself. I starve for 24 hours. In rage, I binge eat the next go around. I lie to my diet buddy or coach. I can even have success and then kill it an hour later at the burger store.

I also totally believe that if we stopped being a checklist model church we might just see those numbers rise. We have good stuff. If we started spending meetings talking about the good that is happening, we could fill in those gaps. Whether it's temple, chapel, missions.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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dande48
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by dande48 » 05 Feb 2018, 14:27

Looking over a few of the comments, I think there is a few areas where the Church is counterproductive in getting the results.

1. Offense is taught as a sin. If you take offense from the Church, the problem lies with you.
2. We are all taught that the end goal is to be just like God. What God is "just like" is a very specific thing, defined to us by very specific people with very specific ideals. It feels like we're only given a one-size-fits-all solutions. But life's not like that. Our experiences, our natures all shape us into very different beings.
3. There is the underlying "superstition" (I'd call it), that if we "please the God", he will shower us with "good fortune". If we sacrifice a bull upon the alter, the stars will align, our herds will multiply, we'll turn a good harvest, and the raiders will leave us alone. If we attend the temple, the inactive members will have their hearts softened, the "elect" will be convinced by the missionaries to join the Church, our jobs will be secure, and our homes won't burn down. But with that train of thought... The Rich are those favored by God, and the poor are those who are cursed. It leads to the well-off feeling, "What a good boy am I!", and the poor leaving the Church.

There's a Zoroastrianism proverb I wish we'd adopt:
Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
In other words, do good because it is good, and not for the reward. The rewards come naturally.
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mom3
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Re: Setting Goals

Post by mom3 » 05 Feb 2018, 15:37

dande - I am voting for you.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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