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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Members Checking Us Out. » Members Checking Us Out.

Members Checking Us Out.

Don - May 22, 2006

It happened again this Sunday.  It’s almost a common occurrence.  Many of the Ward members make regular comments about it.  It’s almost a phenomenon…maybe it is!

The gospel doctrine teacher had the two new families, who just moved in, introduce themselves.  Then he had the other visitors introduce themselves and sure enough one of them was there "checking us out".  This literally happens just about every week!

I sat next to "Keven" the visitor.  After class I introduced myself, found out he had 4 boys, the youngest is 16 and they are moving from Florida.  I gave him the "Sullivan Ward come on".  You know what I mean, I told him how great the ward is, that we’ve got 12 missionaries serving and have had as many as 19.  Almost all of our priests go on missions, the youth program is fantastic, great leaders, terriffic Bishop, funny bunch of guys in the H.P. quroum yada…yada…yada.

This kind of Ward sales promo must work. In the past 9 months over 50% of our ward is comprised of new families who’ve moved in.  With this growth we’ve now pushed past the chapel overflow and into the cultural hall.  Actually this kind of growth has been common now for about 4 years now.

I’ve decided it’s time to put a stop to this!  Next time I’m going to tell the visitor to checkout the other wards.  I’ll explain how much more they need their family’s leadership experience, how their kids will strengthen that ward’s youth program and how badly that ward needs more players for their softball and basketball teams.  I may even tell them how nice the other Bishop is and how sweet the R.S. president can be. 

I’d be doing them a favor.  They’d grow from the opportunities there.  We don’t need any more members in our ward.  We already have fantastic leaders in our organizations.  Not everyone in the ward has a calling now, and most of us only have 2 or 3 families to H.T. or V.T.  If these families do keep coming and moving it, we’ll have to split the ward again….and you know what that means.  Two callings each, lots more work for everyone, 5 or 6 families to visit, small youth groups, stretched leadership. Ugh!

I’ve committed myself to do this, but I don’t know if I can.  I’m too competetive.  I want the "Kevens" to know that our ward is the best.  I want them to know how fantastic we are….I want to brag!  I want them to thank me later for telling them about our ward.  What a dilemma…do I keep bragging and suffer the consequences, or do send them away – strengthen the other wards – and keep our growth down?

10 Comments »

  1. You can still brag to them when they move into the other ward and realize they’re getting their rears kicked in softball and basketball by your ward all the time, or when their youth all go to hell and yours is saved…

    Comment by Bret — May 22, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

  2. Spring is moving season and Spokane has a good rep for being cheap and pretty nice so I imagine your ward split is inevitable.

    I want to hear how you learned this guy spelled his name in such an unusual way…

    Comment by Geoff J — May 22, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

  3. I’m with you, Don. I tend to laugh when people say stuff like that, then I tell them they’ve landed in the strangest ward in the church.

    Comment by annegb — May 23, 2006 @ 12:16 am

  4. annegb,

    From what you’ve said it must it the strangest. Well, that and the fact that you’re there.

    Each ward I’ve been in thought it was the best. Only one of them can be right, and I can assure you that for me it isn’t the current one that we’re in.

    Comment by a random John — May 23, 2006 @ 3:00 am

  5. Geoff, you’re right, Spokane is a great place to live and too bad so many other people are finding that out!! I gues it’s better that lots of Mormons are finding it out instead of all those “others”.

    You’re sharp, it probably should have been “Kevin”, so I guess I’d better say I changed the spelling to protect the innocent…me, I admit it right here in the blog world…I’m a crappy or is that crappie speller!

    Comment by don — May 23, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  6. Yes this is what I’m saying. And I’m not the strangest person in our ward, either. No lie.

    Comment by annegb — May 24, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  7. I’m a visiting memebr. Last year we moved, sight-unseen, assuming that wards came in good/better/best and we didn’t have time to do research ahead of time anyway.
    well, church has become the most disapointing, isolating, uninspiring part of our lives. We can’t stand it, we need to find something better. and becuase primary was a genuine bad influence on my kids, we haven’t returned to our home ward even once since January, we just travel around now, visiting other wards and figuring out where we can move and happily stay, ASAP.

    so sorry :) but maybe that will help you give people the benfit of the doubt. I’m not picky, I’m not citical, but we just cannot allow chruch to be the low point of our week and the most DIScouraging place we go.

    Comment by cchrissyy — May 24, 2006 @ 1:37 pm

  8. cchrissyy,
    Don’t feel bad. I totally understand what you’re talking about. Better to shop around and go to church than live in a ward that’s not a good fit and then stop going to church. Good luck in your search!

    Comment by Rusty — May 24, 2006 @ 4:41 pm

  9. It can’t hurt to visit a ward before moving into the ward. It would be easy for a person to say “we’re just visiting” and leave it at that.

    Comment by danithew — May 25, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

  10. I have been in the situation you are speaking of, except from the other end. I have gone to a ward, checked it out and been told by the auxiliary leaders that they were currently full and there were not enough callings to go around as it were. That day I decided it was my duty to move into the ward and make sure those who didn’t have a calling would soon receive one.

    Soon after moving in I “lost my job”, and “began struggling with my testimony” (all in the name of providing service opportunities). In no time the whole ward was making us dinner and visiting on a regular basis. I personally provided callings for over 6 people in the ward.

    The ward won’t split b/c of me.

    Comment by Johnston — June 20, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

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