- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

A Religious Experience

Essay by   •  November 13, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,160 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,663 Views

Essay Preview: A Religious Experience

Report this essay
Page 1 of 9

I have spent 6 years as a Bishop's counselor over the primary, and have had the privilege of working with 4 wonderful and talented Primary Presidents. During that time I have learned a number of things that I think all Primary presidents should know. If I had the opportunity to sit with a new Primary president and talk with her about her calling these are some of the things I would say.

First I would want to teach about the importance and proper organization of a presidency meeting. The Lord's church is run through councils. It is a divinely appointed principle of organization and is the key to effective leadership in the church. Presidents of all organizations in the church should read Elder Ballard's book "Counseling with our Councils". The Godhead is the governing council of our universe. The First Presidency is the governing council of the church. The Quorum of the Twelve and the quorums of the Seventy meet as councils. Stake Presidencies (and all auxiliary presidencies) are councils. Bishopric and ward councils form the leadership units of the local congregations. Priesthood quorums and ward auxiliary presidencies meet together as councils. Effective council meetings are the key to successful leadership.

In all cases the regular flow of information is through council meetings. Council members typically participate in several councils at various levels. For instance, Primary Presidency counselors meet with the teachers they have stewardship over. They learn how things are going and discuss the particular needs of individuals. These counselors then meet with their president and pass the information up the chain. The primary president meets in a regular PPI with a member of the bishopric, and also in ward council meetings. Bishops meet regularly with the Stake President, who meets with a member of the area presidency, who meets with the Quorum of the Twelve, who meets with the First Presidency. At each level the relevant information is filtered. Some information continues moving upward. At each level decisions are reached and assignments are made. These assignments are carried out and reported at following meetings of the council.

In a similar manner the programs and instructions of the church are administered and taught through regular council meetings. The First Presidency meets and makes decisions about particular programs and the overall direction of the church. This is disseminated down through the councils of the church in reverse order of that in the previous paragraph. At each level the plans of the church are expanded and adjusted to meet the particular needs of the area of responsibility. At each level there are those who properly preside; whose stewardship it is to implement the directions through decisions and actions based on the more general instruction given from above.

Ultimately the church functions through teachers. Primary teachers, Sunday School teachers, Priesthood and Relief Society Teachers, Home and Visiting Teachers. That is where the Gospel is taught, that is where lives are touched. Everything above this is just planning and administration. Unfortunately the council system tends to break down at just the level where it is most important to function effectively. It is the goal of church leadership to ensure that teachers are effective in meeting with, teaching, loving and nurturing those for whom they have stewardship. When we fail to have effective council meetings at the lowest levels the entire leadership structure of the church is compromised. This means we must have effective interviews with teachers; we must have appropriate auxiliary presidency meetings; we must attend council meetings prepared to discuss our stewardship, to take direction, and to implement the programs of the church.

There is nothing more frustrating to church leaders than to have key people show up for council meetings unprepared. The preparation for almost all council meetings happens in other council meetings. A Primary president who has effective presidency meetings will be successful in meeting the needs of her organization and in supporting the rest of the ward.

At a primary presidency meeting all the functions of the primary are discussed. Each member of the presidency has an opportunity to report on the status of her assignments. The counselor over Activity Days has just met with the Activity Day leaders and is ready to report and brings concerns for discussion and direction. The counselor over Cub Scouts has met with the scout committee and is prepared to discuss the activities and concerns of individuals in the scouting program. Each counselor has responsibility over classes, and they have recently met with those teachers and visited those classes. They are prepared to discuss those things in very specific terms. Ultimately these discussions all need to center on individuals and families. Many council meetings degenerate into calendaring and planning meetings. There is a certain amount of coordination that must take place, but this should be driven by direct discussion of the individual needs of our membership, and not completely disassociated from the real purpose of our activities.

When a presidency meeting follows this format, the president can easily keep notes that prepare her for attending ward council meetings. A member of the presidency will have the assignment to track children towards baptism so that proper plans can be made and notification given in a timely manner. Discussions will include progress in Faith in God and the Cub Scouting Square Knot patch. As each area of stewardship is discussed problems and solutions are brought to light. A presidency meeting needs a standing agenda to periodically touch on all areas of stewardship. To this agenda are added the specific concerns and opportunities requiring attention at each specific meeting.

A typical frustration in a ward council meeting is to discuss a family with a Cub Scout aged boy. The question is raised about his participation. The Primary president can only answer if she is having effective presidency meetings with counselors who are themselves having effective meetings within their particular stewardship. Far too often the counselor over Cub Scouts does not regularly attend the Cub Scout committee meetings, so she can't effectively inform the president in presidency meetings and the primary president is left guessing when questioned in ward council. It is not unusual to hear a member of a ward council speak of how the meeting is pointless and they never know what to say. That is often true, but only because members don't come fully prepared. A primary president needs to review often enough the girls who are attending activity days, for instance, so she can answer



Download as:   txt (12.8 Kb)   pdf (144.3 Kb)   docx (13.3 Kb)  
Continue for 8 more pages »
Only available on