Working Ourselves Out of a Job

by | May 12, 2010

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I served a mission in place where the church was new. When I arrived the most experience a member had was being a member for 4 years, most had less. Because of this the missionaries served as Branch Presidents and Relief Society Presidents and in every other capacity necessary. My mission president would tell us that our job was to work ourselves out of a job. In large part that meant taking new members under our wing. A missionary serving as Branch President would choose two newly baptized members (or one) to be his counselors and train them to be Branch President. The best scenario would be new members serving as Branch President and counselor, while a missionary served as the other counselor, offering love and support to the brothers he assisted as he encouraged them in their new capacity. Serving as both Relief Society President and missionary, I worked with newly baptized sisters and less active sisters to train them, or in one case find and teach someone that, through the inspiration of the spirit I knew would fill that role when I left. I don’t see the role of leaders in the church anywhere I have lived since then that much different. But something troubles me.

I often see people passed over for callings because they aren’t deemed to have enough experience, are too new in the church, don’t know the church culture sufficiently, or are supposed not to have a foundation that comes from being a member for decades.

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