Church Volunteer Constraints

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moksha
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Church Volunteer Constraints

Post by moksha » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:14 am

Does the Church ever spread its workforce of volunteer labor too thin in terms of Temples and Missions? Are younger members lacking the "Church is our lives" commitment that used to be present for members age 60 and above? Is this currently a problem? Will it be an increasing problem in the future?
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: Church Volunteer Constraints

Post by Just This Guy » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:41 am

For me at least, that was an early major shelf item.

I'm from a East coast ward in a semi-rural area. This means that the church covers a LOT of ground and does not have a large active membership here. I joked that I went from the California Long Beach Mission which was the smallest proselytizing mission in the world, area wise. That mission was about 20 miles by 40 miles in size, contained 7 stakes, and 1.5 million people to a ward that covered the same land area, if only 50,000 people.

So because we were a smaller ward, there was a lot of doubling up on callings. For me, I got to the point where I had 6 callings (3 ward level, 3 stake level) on top of the stuff everyone has like home/visiting teaching, etc. It was taxing to say the least. That overload caused me to go inactive for several years before my shelf crashed and that was due to shear burnout. Nothing doctrinal with the church, not offended. Just exhausted.

So for me an my area, there is a defiant lack of membership and volunteer labor to maintain the basic operational needs of the area.

Several of my callings were ones that were traditionally done by older, more mature members of the church. So was their a shift away from old people doing things? Maybe. It is possible that they didn't have enough traditional men (not trying to be sexist here, it's the church patriarchy.) for these rolls because they were either already called to other leadership rolls, were too old and not physically up for the roll, or newer to the church and not "spiritually mature" enough for the calling.

It is interesting to watch the church in my area. The population keep aging, and younger people in the area don't stick around. Younger people also tend to be more likely to leave the church, so it's hitting hard here. Old member die off, younger people either move out for better economic opportunities or leave the church. So there is little young blood coming into keep the church here afloat. From the way my parents describe the local ward, they are struggling. Membership has collapsed over the last couple decades. There are less than 100 active members here where there was ~400 when I got back from my mission.

There is only so much you can extrapolate from here, but you can see some trends. At the height of the local church, we had 2 wards and 1 branch in my area. We had 10 sets of FT missionaries. Now, we are down to 1 set. So they obviously don't have the excess they used to have. From the severe lack of converts, (I find out about them despite my efforts because my Mom tells me every time she has to play piano/organ for a baptism) it can't be a pleasant time for the missionaries. Large area to cover with low ward support and little success. When you listen to podcasts talking about the state of the modern missionary program, you hear all sort of stories about high rates of depression and early returns home.

As far as temples, I really can't say. Temples are so far away from us here that we don't see the inner workings. DC is 2.5 hours away and they are currently shut down for years long renovations. So now the closes temple is 4 hours away in Columbus Ohio. Very few people are able to make it that far except for extra special occasions. My parents have not gone to any in almost a year and a half.
"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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glass shelf
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Re: Church Volunteer Constraints

Post by glass shelf » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:02 pm

This is a huge part of the problem in areas of the church where I lived. It makes people resentful and irritated even when they aren't really able to identify those feelings.

100% do not miss the time suck that was the LDS church and trying to do my calling as well as everyone else's who didn't do theirs.

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moksha
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Re: Church Volunteer Constraints

Post by moksha » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:49 pm

New name for why young people leave the Church: Herd immunity.
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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