Getting released from a calling can be one of the worst (or sometimes best) things to happen when we have an assignments we have served well in.
Like death and taxes, there is something that is always inevitable when you have a calling you love; one day you get released from that calling. Getting released from a calling that you enjoy serving in is never easy.
I was recently released from my calling as Assistant Secretary in the Elders Quorum. I have served in this calling since we came to the ward a year and a half ago. As I go through the twelve steps of grief, I thought I would share three areas of insight.
There are Things You Miss After Getting Released From a Calling
First, I think I will miss the association with the fine men I served with. I truly love each of them. This week there was conversation in our group text chain. I contemplated if I should ask them to start a new conversation without me as this wasn’t under my stewardship anymore. I can only hope someone else will carry on my practice to only respond to questions with animated gif images.
I will also miss interacting with my friends during meetings as we tried to determine the will of the Lord. I can be very opinionated and I have learned lessons in humility as I have listened to ideas shared that were good and felt to be in alignment with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I supported them, even though they were in opposition with the ideas I had.
My area of responsibility had to do with managing and reporting Home Teaching. I love administering in the Church! There is something fulfilling for me to help the Kingdom run more efficiently. I even did a PowerPoint Presentation where the theme was, “Administer Less, So You Can Minister More.”
I enjoyed automating our efforts to help us be more effective in our efforts to identify and reach out to “The One.”
The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
I learned a great lesson on the succession of mantle from a Stake Presidency member who was released with the President and a new Presidency was called. The new Stake President had different ways of doing things. Whenever a contrast was made between the old and new Presidents he would respond, “The King is Dead, long live the King!” Meaning, the old President has been released, we now are to sustain the keys and inspiration of our new President.
This brought to mind the experience of when my Mission President was released, and a new one was called. (5 Things I Wish My Mission President Told Me Before I Went Home) The hand-off is only about two to three hours. The outgoing President does not go over the mission rules, opinions on current missionaries, or make suggestions on how to run the mission. The time is spent showing the incoming Mission President where the keys to the mission van are, how to use the washer/dryer, mission boundaries, etc.
This has always stuck with me. When I was released I got together with the secretary who would be taking over my duties and showed him what systems I used and login information. Then I looked him in the eye and said, “This is what has worked for me. You do this however you want and I will not be offended.”
Sustaining Those Who Serve in Your Stead
There is a lot of pressure that comes when you replace someone who was loved in their calling. You fear you will be considered the Young Men Leader who is less fun because he doesn’t own a boat, the Relief Society Meeting Organizer who doesn’t have a talent for centerpieces, or the Bishop who too frugal with fast offerings.
The the outgoing holder of a calling, you should to all you can to sustain the new person called. Give them space to receive revelation for their calling, but make yourself available as resource. Ask, “how can I help?” and not “here is what you should do.” Don’t engage in or allow conversations that compare you with the new person in the calling. They were chosen my Heavenly Father in this capacity, support and sustain them in anyways you can, the way you want to be sustained in your new calling.
Your New Calling
Typically your getting released from a calling was quickly followed up with a new calling. There is sometimes a temptation to rank our callings as a step up or step down. How public or praiseworthy you calling is makes little difference to The Lord. It does not matter where you serve, but how you serve. Magnify your new calling. Read the handbook, seek inspiration, and ask those you will serve how you can bless them. If you have an eye single to the Glory of God and Lift Where You Stand, you will someday find yourself right in this same situation again- Getting Released From a Calling You Love.