The Fam

The Fam
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

The best way to campaign for a new church calling

There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to getting a new calling.

  1. I want released from my current calling because I don't like it.
  2. I want a specific calling because I like it and it is really easy for me. 

When I served as Bishop there was a sister that came to me about every 3-4 months and let me know that her calling was not working out for her.  We discussed it and it always came down to the same conversation.  She wanted this other calling that she had held for years previously that was easy for her and would require much less effort than she was currently having to put forth.  We discussed it and as a general rule she left the office with her original calling and a little bit disappointed.  She would then spend the next few months coming up with new and varied reasons why she should have the other calling. The funny thing about this was if she would have put the same effort into her calling that she spent trying to get out of it she would have been amazing.

I have thought about a multi staged approach to get the calling that you want.  In most cases a direct approach to the Bishop and state that you want to be X does not work.  However in there are a few cases where this is exactly what you should do for instance nursery leader, scouting anything or ward mission leader.  I often refer to these as run for cover callings.  They take a very specific person to do well and in most cases that person knows who they are.  Then there are callings that people want because there is not a lot of return and report involved.  Ward magazine rep, bulletin boards, ride coordinator, assistant to the assistant of anything these are jobs that are given in special or limited ability circumstances.  So trying to get one is usually pretty tough. 

Now if you want to be a Sunday school teacher or primary teacher they are much easier to get.  For a couple of reasons.  The first being there are lots of positions to fill and 2nd there is a high level of turnover.  Understanding the organization chart is key.  You don't go to the Bishop or his counselors and straight up ask.  You go to the primary president or Sunday school president and volunteer to be a substitute.  Then the next week you go to their counselors and do the same.  Then you go to the teachers in these organization and find the one that is gone a lot and volunteer to substitute for them.  This process should take about a month. You will get to sub a few times and your face becomes familiar to them in this position.

The next step you need to get the Bishopric involved but not directly.  It is a little known secret that Bishopric does not have any friends.  This is because everyone is either mad at them or afraid to talk to them because you might become the next nursery leader.  So invite one of them over for dinner or Family Home Evening.  Make sure you teach the lesson so they can see your amazing teaching skills and talk about how much you loved serving as a primary or Sunday school teacher.  Make sure to include a couple of inspirational stories from previous experience.

Now the stage is set for phase 3 you need to start slacking off in your current calling.  Nobody wants to make a change if you are doing well.  So let your performance slide just enough to get the job done but not enough to exclude be considered for something else.  However if you are a scouting anything or nursery leader you pretty much have to lose a child before you will get released.  So plan a hike in an area where you know search and rescue are very active.

Stage 4 this is the kicker.  Find the ward clerk and executive secretary and let them know through casual conversation that you are experiencing burn out and would really like a change of pace.  They attend bishopric meeting and when your name gets submitted by the primary presidency for a teacher.  The Bishopric will talk about your amazing teaching abilities and your past experience.  Then the ward clerk and executive secretary will weigh in and let them know how you are looking for a change.  Boom you have a new calling.

Now the only kicker to this is that whole revelation thing.  The Bishop has it and Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.  You might get exactly what you want sort of.  You will get called to the Primary just like you want except it wont be in the nice 8-9 year old class it will be in the demon possessed 4 year old class with 15 kids and no assistant teacher.  You got what you asked for now you get to live with it.  So before you go down this path you might want to consider that new experiences and a calling you are currently in would be amazing if you forgot yourself and went to work. 

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