Goals, Gimmicks, and Guilt

Any of you who have followed my posts and comments know that I look at the church through a very positive lens most of the time. I do believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and that the church is true as far as it is administered properly. And it should really be of no surprise to anyone that it is not always administered properly, in fact I think it would be unrealistic to expect anything else.

I do have a short list of gripes at times, and among them is the occasional behavior of local church leaders when the first get a little authority (D&C 121). I have seen a familiar pattern a few times. Goals, Gimmicks, and Guilt.

Set high performance goals on the group you are called to lead, create a few gimmicks to get people to do what you want, pass out guilt if goals are not met. Seen this before?

Ok. rant over. I saw a nice post by Keryn at PonderIt that I recommend here. She talks about the virtues of sitting through boring meetings. There is something Christ-like about supporting people in their callings even if they are not doing all that well in them.

The church is on the right track however. I have made a guest post at Blogger of Jared about what qualities the church looks for in leaders. It does not include goals, gimmicks, or guilt. Read about it here.


At 3/21/2006, Anonymous Mogget said...

There is something Christ-like about supporting people in their callings even if they are not doing all that well in them.

Hear, hear!

I've had a similar experience to the "guilt thing" recently, in the RS Visiting Teaching Conference, although I didn't really want to blog about it and make a big deal of a small thing.

So now I will, on your blog, not John C's. Hope you don't mind.


We had a good thing going -- some nice stories of positive experiences, all of which had taken place in the last year. We also had some nice remarks on various doctrinal aspects.

But then...there were a few minutes left at the end...and a new sister stood up and told a story she had been told by a stake RS president (are you getting bad vibes here?) which was:

a) Intentionally guilt-inducing

b) Unbelievable, at least in some of its details.

Since this meeting was this sisters first RS experience with us, I thought it unwise to say anything. So I sat in silence. I think it was the right thing to do.

At 3/21/2006, Blogger Eric Nielson said...

You're a good person.

I have tried to keep my personal gripes out of my blog here, but once in a while ....

I do think that the church is in good shape overall and headed in the right direction. Many of us as individuals have a way to go however. Hopefully we can all be patient with each other.

At 3/21/2006, Blogger annegb said...

Yes, I love that sentence. I needed to hear that and I'm going to print it and remind myself often because I am the world's worst if I'm bored. I bring a book. I've prayed about it, too, but your sentence puts in good perspective for me. Thank you for sharing, and the links, too.

I have done the guilt thing, as well. In my case, it was more the "I'll shoot your dog if you don't do your visiting teaching." I was the biggest bitch on earth about it till I went to work at Wal-Mart for six weeks. Now I'm nice.

Although we had our program during my employment and it was sort of I-Love-Lucy-ish, but not guilt promoting. Because we had the bishopric dance in pink tutus to getting to know you and showed a CD with everyone's pictures. And other stuff. I can see how some might see it as guilt. Which I hate.

I've had your link on my favorites list for a long time, but I've skipped it and I don't know why, I need to be more careful. I really needed to read it today.

At 3/22/2006, Blogger Eric Nielson said...

Wow, annegb!

Thanks for visiting here, and for your kind words.

At 3/22/2006, Blogger Keryn said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Eric! Your sentence about Christ-like support says what I was trying to say but ever so much more succiently.

I know that I do better when guilt is left at a minimum, but gentle reminders (such as the VT supervisor calling near the end of the month) are used instead. Maybe it's all in the delivery.


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