I was just released, due to my move to another State, from being a Ward Clerk. I served in the calling for about 4-1/2 years. there are some aspects of the calling that I quite liked. I would like to share my thought about my time as the Ward Clerk.
– The Church wastes a lot of paper. Yep, that is the top of my list. And I am no tree-hugger either. But good grief. Somebody updates a phone number or email address and MLS kicks out a new Membership record update and asks if you want to print an extra copy for the bishop. Page after page comes out and I often could not see any reason why. Much of this will get shredded right after it is printed. I do think there is some improvement in this over recent months, but there is still a ways to go.
– I was able to see what people pay in tithing. This included many of my coworkers and the CEO of my former company. And I don’t care at all. This could cause some people grief, and I was a bit wary of this at first. Maybe I was blessed to not care, but I don’t care. There is a lot of confidentiality that a Ward Clerk needs to have – I think I did okay.
– I am glad I was in a small ward without much turnover. It was hard enough keeping track of the presidencies of the youth groups, a few ordinances, move-ins, etc. I feel for those poor souls who have a complicated ward to keep track of.
– Sending records from one ward to another is a snap. It is almost instant and painless. All you need is a name and a birth date. Just tell the clerk, records can be pulled or pushed. I had the impression that there was something difficult about it, but it is as easy as pie.
– You often do not have to deal with people all that much if you don’t want to. Not like being an Elders Quorum President or something. You will often have you clerical tasks to complete, they are often fairly easy to execute, and boom! you are done and can move on.
– On the flip side of the above, I did find myself getting even more … distant from people in this calling. In some ways you are in the loop so to speak, but not on the front lines.
– The church does have some excellent training available on-line. Some great strides here.
– Tithing settlement is a pain in the butt. Don’t have your kids bring their coins with them to tithing settlement. The bishop will tell you it is alright, but it causes grief. You don’t have to be all caught up for the year to declare yourself a full tithe payer. Do the clerk a favor and just pay tithing at the regular times. I used to violate the above advice all the time.
– The priesthood quorums are generally much worse at sending in their quarterly reports than any other organization.
– It is kind of cool to have an office at church.
I was glad to serve as a ward clerk, and would gladly serve in this capacity again if asked. But I think it would be good for me to deal with more people more directly – though perhaps not good for them.
If you want to help out your ward clerk, pass along information when you find it. If someone moves, dies, has a child, changes their phone number, etc. Write it down. It is impossible for a couple of people to keep track of everyone.