Monday, April 27, 2009

The worth of NUMBERS, I mean souls, is great.

As a missionary it always bothered me that we had to call in our weekly stats. It seemed to me that all that the leaders cared about was the numbers, the goals were based on numbers, etc. I felt like there should be emphasis on people and quality of contacts, not sheer quantity.

I've come to realize that while the focus appeared to be on numbers, that was probably just my poor attitude shining through. If you have no numbers-based goals, how do you measure progress? How do you keep hormone ridden young men on task? Etc. People are what counts, but numbers are necessary for records keeping and tracking.

Anyway, a lot of rambling about nothing.

These days I am a primary teacher, as I have mentioned. Because we live in a somewhat struggling ward many of us have more than one calling. I am also a Home Teaching District Leader...which is a fancy name for the guy that calls all the companionships to gather their NUMBERS...or in other words to see which families they made the time to see in the given month.

This is not a calling that is going well for me. It is easy, low time commitment, and should not be a challenge. However, this is not a calling that depends only on my commitment to getting it done, but also on other people's commitment to call me back when I call for their reports.

Take the month of March, for instance. I began calling for reports the first week of April. Left messages for each and every companionship. Return calls received = 0. Called all again. Return calls = 0. Finally able to track down 2 of the 5 companionships at church. Tried calling a third time to the remaining companionships. Return calls = 0. By this time I had received 3 phone calls and 2 voicemail messages from the secretary wanting MY report for the district. Finally yesterday I caught one more companionship at church. One companionship still MIA. District percentage for home teaching for March 2009 = roughly 22%. Nice effort everyone. For April numbers I will begin calling the first day of May. I will also make house visits this month to obtain numbers.

How can people think and project the attitude that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing when they don't do the most rudimentary of tasks? I'm not even talking about actually doing the hometeaching, although I guess the same comment would apply, I am talking about returning my phone call. Is that really too much to ask?

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