How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

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SilentDawning
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How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by SilentDawning » 29 Apr 2018, 19:12

I keep thinking about this over and over again as I see the leaders struggle to achieve the sometimes poorly crafted objectives we see in the church.

Particularly, I see our EQP using guilt, sacrament meeting to tell everyone to get their stuff together, to motivate us to do stuff that I think isn't really a good use of time -- or conducive to retaining new and lifelong members.

When the Ward is full of people who don't have much interest in ministering, moving, cleaning the chapel, serving in certain callings, holding a TR, or other shoulds, then how do you lead? What are your objectives, and what are your strategies for getting whatever results you ultimately consider important?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

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nibbler
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by nibbler » 30 Apr 2018, 05:24

I'm reminded of the movie Nacho Libre. That scene where the other monks are all chiding Nacho for how terrible his food is and it's a turning point for Nacho.
Nacho wrote:Okay. Maybe I am not meant for these duties. Cooking duty. Dead guy... duty. Maybe it's time for me to get a better duty.
and
Sister Encarnación: So, do you enjoy yourself here at the brotherhood?
Nacho Libre: The children, I love the children. They are my heart. But to tell you the truth... the brothers make me cook stew and stuff all day but they don't give me money for fresh ingredients. And they don't think I know a butt load of crap about the gospel but I do. Okay?
You want commitment out of the peons? Show commitment to the peons... and it starts at the top. Nacho got reprimanded for providing sub par lunches but the same people complaining about his lunches weren't giving Nacho enough resources to buy good food.

I'm not saying you SD. Ward budgets are anemic. Our meetings are rote, joyless, and have been the same for decades. It's hard to build a community when there's no money and the goals aren't tailored to build a community, they're tailored to have a "gospel purpose," which often translates into leaders turning events into opportunities to extract commitments out of people during what should be an event where the sole goal is to build the community. It's like Marvel movies vs. DC movies. Marvel spends +10 years to build up to a movie where everyone comes together. DC sees the success of Marvel and wants to jump in by bringing everyone together without laying that initial groundwork. So it takes time. Build the community then seek commitments. Don't just jump straight to the commitments and take the community as a given.

We're too results oriented, which I think is bleed over from running the church like a business.
SilentDawning wrote:
29 Apr 2018, 19:12
What are your objectives, and what are your strategies for getting whatever results you ultimately consider important?
I think that's a part of it. Church isn't about what I consider to be important. It's about what someone else believes I should consider important. We don't even do a good job of meeting people halfway. The expectations are often one-sided and I wonder why anyone, forget church for a moment, I'm talking any relationship at all, would be expected to be highly committed to a one-sided relationship?

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dande48
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by dande48 » 30 Apr 2018, 06:44

Forcing people doesn't work, because people like to feel they have a choice. Guiltily people doesn't work, because it associates the Church with negative feelings.

Everything from the TR to cleaning the chapel is just a means to an end, isn't it? Don't we all just want human happiness and fulfillment? I think the leaders are so set on using a particular set of "means", which sometimes aren't very effective, that they are never able to achieve the ultimate goal. This might sound basic, but have they first thought to "Ask nicely"? And then to honestly try to understand "why not", and then adjust their approach?
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nibbler
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by nibbler » 30 Apr 2018, 07:11

I think a part of the problem is that church appears to be the exact same regardless of my efforts.

If I put in 110% the lessons are still the same boring lessons that I've had the last 20+ years. After a while putting in 110% effort to achieve the same results is fatiguing.

I don't even get any input on what we discus during our 1st Sunday councils. Where there's absolutely zero autonomy I don't find it that surprising that there's little to no commitment. It's not my church, I have no voice, and it's true what they say; get on board because the church will roll on with or without you. It's hard to be committed to something when you feel that your presence doesn't really matter.

IMO the church is lucky to get what the get out of people and they should feel blessed. They are relying on people's profound sense of duty.

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Heber13
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by Heber13 » 30 Apr 2018, 09:05

In leadership, you want to create a pull system, not a push system.

Make the product so high quality and treat the employees with such respect, that people ask to be part of it...not convince them they need it.

I really like the direction the church is going to minister and love. But it will take time to shed the traditions of our fathers that wanted everything scripted, correlated, and reported. It will take time to build trust that things are really different in the church and they care about people...all people...even StayLDSers and every other flavor.

Until then...no need to have an urgency around motivating others, or labeling some high performers or low performers.

Love everyone where they are at. There is no need for fear or urgency. Just love and welcome.

What do people need to be motivated to do? What is urgent? I don't find much at church really matters in the big scheme of things...so that means it doesn't matter if it doesn't get done.

That's how I see it. Those that want to be busy...have them clean the church. Those that don't want to don't have to. People should mix the groups so it isn't out of balance by one personality or another...but let the whole orchestra compliment each other in the right time and place.

There is no urgency for our preparations for eternity. Today is all that matters. Love today.
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."

Roy
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by Roy » 30 Apr 2018, 09:33

nibbler wrote:
30 Apr 2018, 07:11
I don't even get any input on the discussions we have during our 1st Sunday councils. Where there's absolutely zero autonomy I don't find it that surprising that there's little to no commitment. It's not my church, I have no voice, and it's true what they say; get on board because the church will roll on with or without you. It's hard to be committed to something when you feel that your presence doesn't really matter.

IMO the church is lucky to get what the get out of people and they should feel blessed. They are relying on people's profound sense of duty.
I believe that I have been on both sides of the equation. DW and I served in ward leadership callings. When my faith crisis struck we were the WML and PP. We had been among the 10% that do 90% of the work.

Our motivation came in 3 areas: 1) It was our religious duty and we were shooting for the celestial kingdom. a.k.a. to please God. 2) It was a big part of our life plan/trajectory. We had envisioned ourselves following the church plan and raising our children accordingly, with all the corresponding standards and milestones (seeing them serve missions & get married in the temple & more). Our church service was part of fulfilling our life goals 3) Our social life and support structure began and ended with the ward family. Our best friends were people that were serving along side of us in presidency callings.

I believe that the church program works well for and is generally motivating for individuals in this category. I believe that these factors are more often/strongly found among multi-generational LDS families. The church receives exceptionally high commitment levels and productivity from this group.
nibbler wrote:
30 Apr 2018, 05:24
I think that's a part of it. Church isn't about what I consider to be important. It's about what someone else believes I should consider important. We don't even do a good job of meeting people halfway. The expectations are often one-sided and I wonder why anyone, forget church for a moment, I'm talking any relationship at all, would be expected to be highly committed to a one-sided relationship?
I believe that the church is significantly less motivating for individuals that are not receiving these 3 motivating factors. I imagine that it could be particularly difficult to sustain motivation among new converts. They are significantly less "embedded" into the church. The expectations are high from the day of their baptism and they may feel like a failure in some way every time they attend church.
nibbler wrote:
30 Apr 2018, 05:24
Ward budgets are anemic. Our meetings are rote, joyless, and have been the same for decades. It's hard to build a community when there's no money and the goals aren't tailored to build a community, they're tailored to have a "gospel purpose," which often translates into leaders turning events into opportunities to extract commitments out of people during what should be an event where the sole goal is to build the community.
My personal plan would be to increase avenues to build community. I have seen other Christian churches do this through "small groups". You have people in your ward that like to scrapbook - maybe have a monthly scrapbooking night. You have people that go for a daily walk, run, or bike? Maybe have an exercise group (or several depending on intensity level). Maybe you have a monthly book club for those that love to read. One group that I am particularly fond of has a "guys night out". They meet at a pizza place once a month and play a game (UNO, exploding kittens, bunco, etc.) They had me at "Free Pizza". The purpose is to create opportunities for socialization with individuals that may share some of your interests (like free pizza & games). Perhaps a calling as a Small groups Leader/coordinator would be appropriate to look for opportunities to create and maintain small groups.

Potlucks can be nice and very inexpensive from a ward budget perspective if everyone brings a dish to share.

Another part of my plan would be for building community would be to highlight the socializing opportunities that we already do have. Father & Son campout is a case in point. If you are not present in church on Sunday to hear the announcements or if you do not have access to the stake calendar then you might not even know that it is happening. We could do so much better to promote such opportunities through the ward sacrament meeting program/pamphlet, posters in the foyer, a ward website, a Facebook group. I feel that a ward PR person could be a huge asset.

I personally do not feel invited to the campout. I do not know who I would turn to if I had questions. If we had some sort of promotion/signage I would want those signs to 1) Let people know that they are wanted/welcome 2) who to contact with any questions.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 01 May 2018, 09:06

Heber13 wrote:
30 Apr 2018, 09:05
I really like the direction the church is going to minister and love. But it will take time to shed the traditions of our fathers that wanted everything scripted, correlated, and reported. It will take time to build trust that things are really different in the church and they care about people...all people...even StayLDSers and every other flavor.
I too love the new direction, was also a little dismayed that we were automatically kicked out of the system and didn't have access. It tied our hands for a little while. I assumed that the old ht list was obilterated, which may have been a good thing to get people reaching out of their circles. I hope we can see it as something totally new, and not just a new name for the old ht program.

We started socializing more a few months ago, and at one of our monthly get-togethers we had more people (eq/hp) than we do on a normal Sunday. It has been great, and I'm a huge fan of texting out our plans so everyone knows.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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SamBee
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by SamBee » 05 May 2018, 03:21

I think there *is* a degree of selfishness involved. People shouldn't expect everything to be done for them. However in order to do that people have to feel wanted and like the ward.

How to do things cheaply?

* Organize events at people's homes.
* Use the cultural hall for sports - basketball, soccer, tennis, badminton...
* Go for country walks.
* Go to the local park.
* Talent shows & quiz nights.
* Concerts. If you have musically talented members, why not use them?
* Interfaith events.

We always think these have to involve expensive outlay and lots of food... they don't.

Earlier this year, we had one of the best events I've been to, where two church members came in and talked about their experiences as Olympic and high level athletes. It was really good. The expenses? Their travel costs. Lighting. Heating. That's about it.

Yet we had another event last year which was very expensive with food etc. It wasn't that good and was hijacked politically. (Why do people have to bring their politics - and politicians! - into church? And try and make out it isn't political?)

p.s. Not sure about the Nacho Libre ref. I still shudder at that film.
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mom3
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Re: How to Achieve Results in Low Commitment Wards

Post by mom3 » 05 May 2018, 15:09

For me, I would relish the low commitment. Seriously. Hold a few required meetings. Then I would go about being joyful and happy. Everyone gets released. They can get someone enthused if they want.

The results won't change.
"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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