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?