Sunday, August 21, 2011

Church Callings

I have been wondering this for some time now.

Why is it that the same people always seem to get the same types of callings?

Aren't callings supposed to help you grow, stretch you, etc?

If you go from being in the primary presidency, to the Relief Society presidency, to the Young Women's presidency, etc., how is it that you're really doing a different calling? And what about others who go from teaching primary in one ward to teaching it in their next ward? Why aren't they given a chance to serve in other callings?

I have one acquaintance who has lived in several different states in the last ten years but everywhere she's lived, she's been in the Young Women's organization, either as a teacher or in the presidency. She's never been able to go to Relief Society on Sundays. She's never had to teach the 4-year-olds or be in the nursery. She's just always with the Young Women's.

When I was growing up, my ward put the same people in those callings over and over again--they just moved from one presidency to another one. When some of those people finally started moving out of the ward, others were finally called and had the opportunity to grow from those callings.

When you move to a new ward, they always ask what callings you've had in the past. Why is that even relevant? Maybe you were the ward choir director in your old ward because you were the only person in the ward who could read music, but you really don't know how to lead a choir. Maybe in your old ward you were the only active person able to fulfill a calling in a presidency.

I know that we've been taught that callings are from the Lord, but I don't believe He whispers into the ears of the bishopric every time a calling is issued. In college, I was once the Sacrament Meeting prayer coordinator. I had to find people to give the opening and closing prayers for Sacrament Meeting. I think that sometimes, a calling needs to be filled and you're available, so they call you and since it doesn't feel wrong, they go with it. It's not always "inspired", so to speak, not in the way of "so-and-so needs to be the Sacrament Meeting prayer coordinator," but "things might go more smoothly on Sunday morning if we already have people picked out to give the prayers. Who doesn't have a calling that we can assign this to?"

That is what I think about callings.


Life as a Convert (Khourt) said...

Great question! Ive often heard that with new members or recent converts that the motto is give them a calling to keep them coming.. Im fairly new to the Church.. Got baptised in 2008 and just received my first calling the beginning of this year as a Primary Teacher.. Then about 2 months ago I was called to work in the Primary Presidency as the 1st counselor..

I honestly think it was an attempt to get me to come to church more because I had missed a lot for various reasons. I like being in Primary because I have children there and I would like to stay in Primary for that reason, but as you point out, if I did that it would not help me grow..

Stacy said...

I could go on and on about this topic for a long time. I don't genuinely believe that every calling in the church is inspired. I do think that people get put into a box: like there are music people, primary people, YW people, etc. In the 15 years since I've been out of YW, I have had maybe 2 or 3 non-music callings. And while I'm happy to serve, I get so sick of being only the musician. I've never been in a presidency, I've never been in YW, I've never taught a primary class. I would love sometime to experience something that isn't music oriented someday.

Royalbird said...

Stacy, I've been the pianist in RS so many times. I've been the librarian a few times, but most of the time, I teach primary. I've just noticed in many of my wards how many people flit from one presidency to the next or are only ever in YW or RS or primary and don't really think that every calling is inspired. I'm willing to serve wherever they need me, though.

swedemom said...

I really agree with you on this one. The only time I've really moved around in callings was when I lived in Sweden and kids made up 50% of the ward. We all moved around a lot. For a year I was the ward organist. Then I was in the primary presidency. Then I served in the Relief Society. My last few months in Sweden I played the piano for Primary. So I felt like I moved around a lot. But really, that was the only place. I think I am doomed to be in a primary presidency for the rest of my life. I love the kids--and I love teaching. But I hate dealing with teachers who don't show up, which happens far too often. (That is probably why you are often called to teach in primary--because they know you will come, prepare your lesson in advance and will do a good job--maybe if you were more of a slacker, you wouldn't get that calling!)


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