In March of this year I was called as the Ward Mission Leader. It took me by surprise because I’ve only been in the ward/state for four months. At the time, I really only knew the Bishop and the Elders Quorum President (and that\’s because the EQP helped us move in).
However, more surprisingly was when the Bishop shared with me that the Ward Council had set a goal that year for 15 baptisms. The year before the ward saw 7 baptisms and it wasn’t until the end of last month that we had our first baptism for the year.
I’ve never been one to turn down a calling, but if there was one I wanted to turn down it was this one. On the way home from church that day, I lamented to my wife how I never wanted to be the Ward Mission Leader because there always seemed an unrealistic/vague number associated to the success of the calling. I felt there was no way to magnify my calling if I wasn\’t hitting that goal.
To compound things, two weeks after I accepted the calling both the Bishop and Mission President requested a mission plan from me. Having never done this calling before I had no idea where to start. The Bishop sent me the plan from last year and from that I was able to quickly pound something out.
I’ve since calmed down about my calling and have gotten into a rhythm with our missionaries (in our mission there’s four missionaries per ward). I vowed I would do better than 99% of the Ward Mission Leaders on my mission and I think I am starting to get the hang of the calling.
In fact, I might dare say that after a few months I’m actually enjoying myself. We still have 14 baptisms to go, but I’m not so wound up about numbers and now I am just focusing on doing my best.
To help others, I thought I would provide both mine and last year’s mission plan. They may not be the best, but hopefully they might help a newly called Ward Mission Leader who is breathing into a bag trying not to hyperventilate.
A few notes on these plans:
- UPDATED: As stated in the comments by John, the Ward Mission plan should be an effort between the Ward Council, Bishop, and Ward Mission Leader. Due to the fact that I started in March, I was more thrown into the mix of things, and the time to plan the upcoming year had passed. I still worked closely with the Bishop and we sent out a copy to the Ward Council (no one really provided any additional feedback), but the majority of the work fell on me. I still haven’t gone through the process of planning next year, but knowing my ward, I am anticipating that they will want me to write the first draft of the Ward Mission Plan. So, hopefully this post is still helpful and relevant.
- The plans are simple and basic, which is intentional. I am actually working with our Elders to put together a tactical plan of everything we want to do in depth. However, the last thing I wanted to do was supply the tactical plan to the Ward Council. I’ve learned the less complex a vision is the less people stress about it. In a future post I hope to share my tactical plan.
- You will notice at the end of my plan I’ve requested the ward goals, which I’ve not yet to receive.
- Finally, I make mention about a Youth Missionary Program titled Prepare the Way. This is something I’ve been working on and hope to share it here soon. I think implementing something like this will make a big deal.
Again, I hope these are helpful, and if you’re a seasoned Ward Mission Leader, by all means, please share your plan from over the years. It would be nice to see what everyone else is doing!