YM Specialist

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Linked
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YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:24 pm

I met with a member of the bishopric Sunday with DW at his request. Took the kids too because they had no where else to be after church. He asked me to be a YM Specialist. I told him I would let him know next week. I was glad I could show my kids an example of a normal response to a volunteer request, rather than a "yes, of course".

It's an interesting calling. They are having one of the boys teach one lesson per month in each class, and they would like someone to work with each boy as they prepare their lesson. I would probably have them over to my house so I could have DW there so we don't have a one on one situation and I don't have to get someone else from the ward there.

On the plus side:
- I'm pretty good at lesson prep and could probably be helpful in getting more interesting lessons developed
- I can steer them away from the worst methods employed by the church in indoctrinating people
- Helping young people become better at something is inherently rewarding

On the minus side:
- It would take an hour during the week for 3 weeks per month
- I would have to attend YM 2 weeks per month
- This will expose me to the indoctrination of the youth, which is painful for me
- I've been wanting to step away a bit more and this would prevent that (but really, I'm not at a point where I am willing to fully step away, so if I can make myself useful in an interesting calling that isn't too time consuming that will reduce the awkwardness of the situation)

Has anyone else seen/done a calling like this? How did it turn out?
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Red Ryder
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:09 pm

Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.

Sorry, but kids don’t need your help with a lesson. That should be the parents job.

One other way to look at this is:

Would you send your kid over to another man’s house so he could help your kid with a school project?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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alas
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by alas » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:27 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:09 pm
Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.

Sorry, but kids don’t need your help with a lesson. That should be the parents job.

One other way to look at this is:

Would you send your kid over to another man’s house so he could help your kid with a school project?
This.

I know that you refusing to accept the calling won’t change how the church does this, but there are just things that I could never be party to. To me, this way of doing things takes away parental authority and responsibility and gives it to the church. For a church that has conniptions about the schools taking away parental authority about sex education, they sure are free about giving that parental authority to the church with things like this and worthiness interviews.

In fact, I would have balked at taking my child over to an adult leader’s home or even working one on one in a church setting. I think I would have called up the leader and said that we as parents would help our child if they needed any help.

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Linked
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:34 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:09 pm
Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.

Sorry, but kids don’t need your help with a lesson. That should be the parents job.

One other way to look at this is:

Would you send your kid over to another man’s house so he could help your kid with a school project?
That's a good point I hadn't really thought about. The member of the bishopric did say that the parents would be expected to help and in those cases I wouldn't need to do much, but that in some cases parental help probably wouldn't happen and I would need to do more.

Would you change your recommendation if I promise it won't be very spiritual, and absolutely no testimony bearing will occur? :lol:

No, I probably wouldn't send my kid to another man's house for a school project. But I could see my former TBM self sending my kid over for this, because that's what I was told to do.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Linked
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:42 pm

alas wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:27 pm
Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:09 pm
Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.

Sorry, but kids don’t need your help with a lesson. That should be the parents job.

One other way to look at this is:

Would you send your kid over to another man’s house so he could help your kid with a school project?
This.

I know that you refusing to accept the calling won’t change how the church does this, but there are just things that I could never be party to. To me, this way of doing things takes away parental authority and responsibility and gives it to the church. For a church that has conniptions about the schools taking away parental authority about sex education, they sure are free about giving that parental authority to the church with things like this and worthiness interviews.

In fact, I would have balked at taking my child over to an adult leader’s home or even working one on one in a church setting. I think I would have called up the leader and said that we as parents would help our child if they needed any help.
Thanks for your comment, maybe I will decline and point out that this calling may be inappropriate for the reasons you and Red Ryder pointed out.

The church has been taking parental authority forever. And now they are guilting members for relying on the church for their children's spiritual teaching that with the whole "Home centered, church supported" crap. Just make sure your home centered teachings are what the church tells you they should be.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

lostinmiddlemormonism
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:01 pm

It's what I am doing currently, but I have a good bishopric counselor to work with, and we committed to spend more than just an hour each week and not confine ourselfs to a particular night. Some of our activities that are upcoming:

This week we are going to a top 25 womens college basketball game
Next week - escape room
The week after a symphony in a town near us

Other activities include taking the boys flying in Cessnas, visiting an art fair, seeing a play, going to an astronomy night and looking through big telescopes, visiting a coast guard base and going for a ride on a coast guard cutter, etc.

Just make it things that are actually meaningful and fun for your group and ignore the church crap...that's what we are doing.

-lost

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alas
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by alas » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:11 pm

You asked if we would change our recommendation if you kept it not spiritual. That is one thing that would help. In addition, I would change my recommendation if you got the boys assigned a lesson for that month together, so three boys each month, and taught them principles for preparing a lesson, then had them help each other. Say give each boy 15 minutes for the three of them to work on his lesson, then the second boy’s lesson, then the third. This way, you are teaching them principles of teaching and them letting them help each other, with you there for guidance. Most parents have never really been taught how to teach or how to prepare a lesson, so you are doing something most of them can’t. Then they get to practice with supervision. Then they can go home and get help from their parents if they need it.

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MalcolmVillager
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by MalcolmVillager » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:21 pm

Such mixed feelings. I have a friend in my ward who is an open non-believer and he teaches my oldest daughter's SS class. I like it that he is there to keep the lessons reasonable.

I recently was released from the stake YM (easiest calling for 3 years of nearly nothing). Now I teach 10 year old primary with DW. Most lessons I just tell stories or watch videos. I really struggle to teach the lesson in the manual. Back 6 years ago when I was ward YM president the lesson topics were a lot more open. I only had to teach a half dozen times per year.

I wish you well in the answer, but the delayed response was the right choice.

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moksha
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by moksha » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:21 pm

If anyone suggests soaking the youth in a brine or vinegar solution for several weeks to make them more pliable to Church doctrine, you can put your foot down.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Just This Guy
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Just This Guy » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:56 am

First, Linked, who's ideas what it that your wife be around to prevent a one on one situation? If it's yours, then good for you. If that was your bishops, I would give the guy props for being practical and realistic. Of course, the whole setup looks problematic to start with.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Linked
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:27 pm

lostinmiddlemormonism wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:01 pm
It's what I am doing currently, but I have a good bishopric counselor to work with, and we committed to spend more than just an hour each week and not confine ourselfs to a particular night. Some of our activities that are upcoming:

This week we are going to a top 25 womens college basketball game
Next week - escape room
The week after a symphony in a town near us

Other activities include taking the boys flying in Cessnas, visiting an art fair, seeing a play, going to an astronomy night and looking through big telescopes, visiting a coast guard base and going for a ride on a coast guard cutter, etc.

Just make it things that are actually meaningful and fun for your group and ignore the church crap...that's what we are doing.

-lost
That sounds like a ton of fun activities! Unfortunately my role would be entirely on the spiritual side helping the boys prepare lessons for their priesthood classes. But I figure I can teach them how to teach better lessons, which is something that can help them in general, not just at church. I wouldn't even go to the midweek activities (which is fine with me, I have kids of my own to build relationships with).

alas wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:11 pm
You asked if we would change our recommendation if you kept it not spiritual. That is one thing that would help. In addition, I would change my recommendation if you got the boys assigned a lesson for that month together, so three boys each month, and taught them principles for preparing a lesson, then had them help each other. Say give each boy 15 minutes for the three of them to work on his lesson, then the second boy’s lesson, then the third. This way, you are teaching them principles of teaching and them letting them help each other, with you there for guidance. Most parents have never really been taught how to teach or how to prepare a lesson, so you are doing something most of them can’t. Then they get to practice with supervision. Then they can go home and get help from their parents if they need it.
Having the boys come together is a great idea. It mitigates the one-on-one issues and awkwardness of meeting with some random old guy (though I would still have DW or another adult around), adds a peer social element, and even less of a time commitment. Like you suggest, I would completely focus on how to prepare and how to teach, then try to help them find the slivers of good lesson they can in the Come Follow Me materials and build on them. Then have cookies and play video games for a few minutes.
moksha wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:21 pm
If anyone suggests soaking the youth in a brine or vinegar solution for several weeks to make them more pliable to Church doctrine, you can put your foot down.
They had me soak my 8 year old son in a luke warm water bath last year, should I be worried?
Just This Guy wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:56 am
First, Linked, who's ideas what it that your wife be around to prevent a one on one situation? If it's yours, then good for you. If that was your bishops, I would give the guy props for being practical and realistic. Of course, the whole setup looks problematic to start with.
The bishopric member mentioned that I would need 2 deep leadership, then hand waved it as a trivial task. I suggested I could have them over and DW could be the second adult. I've always felt that my ward does a decent job with keeping the kids safe. But I don't know what goes on in bishops interviews or other adult/child interactions.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Wonderment
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Wonderment » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:19 pm

Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.
Sorry to be so late to this thread.
Also sorry to sound cynical. But, they are doing a first-rate job of reactivating you, through the "little-by-little approach." It's a lot like dealing with a new car salesperson. Customer walks onto the car lot, says he is just browsing and not ready to buy anything. Just wants to look around. Salesperson says, "Fine, fine, no pressure, take your time." Customer pauses to look at a car which catches his eye. Salesperson notices says, "Hey, would you like to open the door, check out the interior? No pressure, no obligation. Just open the door." Then --" would you like to sit inside, see how the instrument panel is arranged? No pressure, just a little thing, just sit inside." Then -- would you like to take a little test drive around the block? No pressure, just a few minutes, see how it drives." Then -- "would you like to sit down and just hear about an easy-pay finance plan for this car? No pressure, it's easy, no obligation, just step into my office here." ( With each move, it's more difficult for the customer to refuse).

These guys are salesmen. Their motto is: "Always be closing. You can close 'em fast, or you can close 'em slow, but keep closing 'em."

It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but I think that's how high-demand churches work to reactivate people. First, you agree to help your wife with primary. ( Only a few weeks, no obligation). That goes well. Next you agree to give a talk on "The Lord Knows Us." ( even though you're agnostic/atheist). No obligation, only a little talk. People love your talk- you get compliments ! No pressure. Next, they want more of a time commitment, just a little thing -- just help the YM prepare their talks. Just two weeks a month. No pressure, etc. If you're happy, that's great ! They want you to be happy and willing. Then it's a win-win for both sides. BUT -- they will still work diligently to keep you on the line, keep reeling you into the boat, because that's what they do. They are always closing, always reeling people back into the boat. -- Wndr.

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Linked
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:31 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:19 pm
Personally I would say no.

I remember my son having to do something similar and it seemed weird to have to drop him off at another dudes house so they could together prepare for a lesson. Personally I thought he (my son) could do it on his own or with help from mom or dad instead of having to go to another man’s house, take up his personal time, and have an intimate spiritual moment where they study the lesson together, the dude bares testimony that it’s all true, etc.

To me it’s just another data point in the indoctrination process.
Sorry to be so late to this thread.
Also sorry to sound cynical. But, they are doing a first-rate job of reactivating you, through the "little-by-little approach." It's a lot like dealing with a new car salesperson. Customer walks onto the car lot, says he is just browsing and not ready to buy anything. Just wants to look around. Salesperson says, "Fine, fine, no pressure, take your time." Customer pauses to look at a car which catches his eye. Salesperson notices says, "Hey, would you like to open the door, check out the interior? No pressure, no obligation. Just open the door." Then --" would you like to sit inside, see how the instrument panel is arranged? No pressure, just a little thing, just sit inside." Then -- would you like to take a little test drive around the block? No pressure, just a few minutes, see how it drives." Then -- "would you like to sit down and just hear about an easy-pay finance plan for this car? No pressure, it's easy, no obligation, just step into my office here." ( With each move, it's more difficult for the customer to refuse).

These guys are salesmen. Their motto is: "Always be closing. You can close 'em fast, or you can close 'em slow, but keep closing 'em."

It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but I think that's how high-demand churches work to reactivate people. First, you agree to help your wife with primary. ( Only a few weeks, no obligation). That goes well. Next you agree to give a talk on "The Lord Knows Us." ( even though you're agnostic/atheist). No obligation, only a little talk. People love your talk- you get compliments ! No pressure. Next, they want more of a time commitment, just a little thing -- just help the YM prepare their talks. Just two weeks a month. No pressure, etc. If you're happy, that's great ! They want you to be happy and willing. Then it's a win-win for both sides. BUT -- they will still work diligently to keep you on the line, keep reeling you into the boat, because that's what they do. They are always closing, always reeling people back into the boat. -- Wndr.
That's a pretty fair assessment of the situation, and you may be right. I'm not sure how much of an activation project I am though, as I have always attended regularly and filled callings reliably until requesting release from primary in November; by most measures I am fully active. But I'm sure people have noticed that I leave for the second hour when I'm not needed, and the leadership know I don't have a temple recommend, and I told the former bishop 5 years ago that I am an apostate who doesn't believe in the church's teachings anymore. It's been tough to tell if they are trying to reel me in or if they are just happy to have me there and participating, or both. And with the situation with my DW, I don't think I'll be stepping away.

As for the talk response, I know some people just tell whoever spoke that they enjoyed the talk and I accounted for that in my assessment. My main reason for feeling it was sincerely appreciated was the reaction during the talk, people were engaged. I personally get a lot from giving a good talk, it's very rewarding for me, so I think I will let myself err on the side of the feedback being sincere. In this case I felt it was a win-win. I'm wondering if the YM calling could also be a win-win. But at the same time I'm just so done with church stuff.

It's like I'm at the car dealership with my wife, and I know I'm not buying a car and most of the sales staff knows I'm just here with my wife. Some new aggressive salesperson might try to sell me something for a moment, but will quickly find me a waste of their time. So the less aggressive sales people and I both try to minimize the awkwardness. Maybe it's time to sit in the lobby and play with my phone.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Wonderment
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Wonderment » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:17 pm

It's like I'm at the car dealership with my wife, and I know I'm not buying a car and most of the sales staff knows I'm just here with my wife. Some new aggressive salesperson might try to sell me something for a moment, but will quickly find me a waste of their time. So the less aggressive sales people and I both try to minimize the awkwardness. Maybe it's time to sit in the lobby and play with my phone.
Very good analogy.
btw, I always thought they sincerely liked your talk and that it went very successfully. You can usually tell when people really enjoyed hearing a talk and when they are just being polite for the sake of etiquette. -- Wndr.

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Linked
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Re: YM Specialist

Post by Linked » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:39 pm

Wonderment wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:17 pm
Very good analogy.
btw, I always thought they sincerely liked your talk and that it went very successfully. You can usually tell when people really enjoyed hearing a talk and when they are just being polite for the sake of etiquette. -- Wndr.
Thanks, sorry if my response seemed dismissive, I appreciated your comments. They got me thinking and I sometimes use NOM as a place to get my thoughts out.

And I've decided to decline the calling. I might be able to find some joy in it, but I don't have anything left to give to the church. I think it's time to support DW in SM, then head home.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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