Roy wrote: ↑
23 Aug 2020, 10:34
When you say, "Hold leadership accountable," I wonder what that looks like. I know that there are ways to socially and religiously pressure/punish/reward individuals. I suppose I am at a point in my faith evolution where most of these would no longer work on me.
I had a long wrestle with what accountability should look like, and as Nibbler said, whether there should even be any.
My answer is that there MUST be some accountability. Otherwise, leading volunteers is a free-for-all where volunteers do whatever they please. The organization and higher leaders have needs just as volunteers do. The idea is to meet the needs of both volunteers, leadership and the organization at the same time and wherever possible. That doesn't happen on a large scale when there isn't accountability and isn't an attempt to meet everyone's needs.
So, what does accountability look like? I have no problem with there being numerical metrics that serve as a guide for suggesting areas volunteers need support from their leaders. For me, accountability leads to support, not censure.
Accountability also means the leaders put the right people in the right positions. No obligatory callings, no strong-arming people into callings with made-up claims about having revelation they are to be the next EQ president, for example. These things lead to installing people who have no interest in being held accountable.
Leaders need to do their homework on what motivates the members, and give them callings that serve the volunteers' needs and the organization alike. This at least means there is grist for the mill - volunteers who have a desire and some ability to serve. If these fundamentals aren't in place, then it's hard to hold people accountable with creating hard feelings or push back. There has to be SOME commitment to doing well and getting with the organizational program for accountability to work.
For volunteers, it means being judicious about whether they agree to a calling. They should commit only when they have a desire to do a reasonable job of the calling. No half-hearted commitments just to make the person extending the calling go away.
The sad part of this is that our church does not have an appreciative, mutual approach to callings. It's very top down, conscription type of model of service. People who indicate where they would like to serve are often put down as not following the top-down inspired model. It's almost taken as an affront to the leadership if you come forward and share the places you would like to serve. For me, this is important information I would welcome from any volunteer. It shows where the volunteer has passion and would definitely inform my own inspiration on the subject of where to put that person.
With this foundation in place, I don't think volunteers or leaders would hestitate to rely on metrics of some kind that help leaders give support. Metrics that also help the volunteers see how they are doing.
DJ makes a good point -- that it's hard to measure what is important. But even when what is important is hard to measure, we should try. In trying, we learn to refine our metrics. Also, sometimes all you can measure is process or the flurry activity. I am OK with that. If there is no activity we know nothing substantial is happening in the metrics that really matter.
I do think the church should be measuring how the members FEEL about attending their wards and serving in the church. Metrics like these would go a long way to helping the leadership make plans about what is truly important.
In summary -- I think metrics are important, that the organization has a right to collect and share them, and that volunteers should embrace some accountability. But this accountability should be applied to people who WANT to be serving in their position. And such accountability should lead to kind, loving support from leaders and not censure like I've seen in other contexts.