My experience with ward service truly started on my mission. It was exciting because in our wards we were invited to ward council, and since there weren't as many active members, we got to participate in a lot. We were in charge of large parts of activities and would frequently be the setup crew as well as be in close communication with leaders to help include less-active members and investigators in the process. When I got home, I thought that this would be the way that every ward functioned.
I quickly learned, however, after leaving the singles ward that many wards aren't quite sure what to do with young married couples. Perhaps we are inexperienced, renting and unsure of when we'll move, introverted, or don't fit the expected mold. But despite our differences, we have a lot to give—in ideas and the time that we have. Below are a few ideas to help wards use the talents that they have access to by getting young married couples involved.
Some things your young married couples excel at:
Teaching. A large number of us have served missions. We are comfortable teaching from the experiences we have had, and we love to be thought of for this capacity. For those in the 23 and younger age group, we were in Young Men and Young Women when the Church introduced the "Come Follow Me" teaching methods. We've been on the receiving end of some fantastic lessons. This helps us to teach more effectively, even as a guest or substitute teacher.
Computer tasks. Do you need a directory made, a birthday list, or calendars? Young adults have grown up being taught these computer skills in school—we can make a plethora of documents in a relatively short amount of time, and it won't cause us the same amount of stress that it might cause another.
Ideas for activities. If you are looking to break out of the cookie-cutter activities that might be plaguing your ward, some of your RMs and former-YSA couples would be good people to ask for ideas. Many missionaries and YSAs were in charge of coming up with and executing activities for the wards they served in. We've also moved around some and have experienced the traditions of many places, meaning we might some ideas you have not heard of before.
Some things to ask about first or avoid:
Unnecessary assistant callings. Putting us as someone's assistant might seem like a good idea so that we at least have a calling, but if it means that we have a calling without a purpose or opportunity to truly help, it can be a big let down. We typically want callings or ask for them because we want to be doing and helping. If the calling doesn't require anything from us, it doesn't help us feel truly valued in the ward.
Callings with kiddos. For many young married couples, kids can be a touchy topic. While some may be excited for the opportunity and have the energy for it, some are experiencing infertility or are holding off on kids for health, financial, or other personal reasons. Putting them in the nursery or Primary could be painful, so definitely ask and listen first.
Not giving us a calling. We understand how difficult it may be to call someone who just rents in your ward—it's a lot of work to be constantly refilling those roles when you don't know how long a couple will be around. If that's a reason you hesitate to give us a calling, maybe consider having those in charge of activities get in touch and involve us in that way. Ward activities usually happen in a short amount of time, allowing us to still participate and get to know people without causing the hassle of regularly replacing us in a calling.