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Have A Calling. Need Help.


Wants2know

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Ok… so after being an official member of the church since June, I have a calling that starts in January - Gospel essentials teacher. Hmmm…. The branch President asked me how I "felt" about it. That was unexpected…. I"m the therapist here!!! He's the scientist!!! Not that I'm complaining. It was nice. Anyway…. I'm not too worried about the actual calling - but I am wondering about other's experience in what made this class a positive experience. My experience with it has just been to read the chapter with the group each week and have discussion. Are there other ways to do it?? I informed the husband he'd be helping me :)

Thanks!!!

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Why don't you read each lesson a week or two before class and then come and discuss it here? That way you will get people's various viewpoints that can help you if the discussion lags and you won't be surprised so much if something not in the manual gets thrown your way because (hopefully) someone will mention it here first and discussion about its status as doctrine or speculation is clear enough to you.

Since we are just finishing up two years of studying the same manual, the lessons should be fresh in our minds.

Those of us so inclined can also track down relevant materials to help you feel more confident in knowing background, etc.

It will be fun.

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If you prepare a lesson and do your best to do so with the Spirit, the lesson will be great. The lessons where the teacher 'fails' are those where they don't take time to prepare and don't follow the guidance of the Spirit to do so.

The worst lessons are the ones where it's all reading from the book and the teacher reiterating what was read. The best are the ones where people sincerely discuss what the lesson is talking about. I like Cal's suggestion and think you'll be great!

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I would suggest inviting some of the more senior members (the ones that usually attend Gospel Doctrine) to attend your class on occaision, having seasoned members can sometimes help answer the more difficult questions that might arise. Just be careful because sometimes the seasoned members have notions that are more folklore that "gospel essentials".

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Being a new convert yourself could really give you a special something to offer in teaching this class. My suggestion is to befriend every single person in your class. Speak to them outside of the classroom as well, as often as possible. Get to know them personally and let it bring a respectable level of comradery to your classroom. Help everyone to feel safe and comfortable so that the sharing and insight can be open. Get them to WANT to have studied the chapter during the week, before they arrive on Sunday, so they will be excited to share what they have discovered or question. You'll be fantastic! Heavenly Father believes in you. So do I. :D

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With any teaching position in the Church, preparation is the key. For example, I always spend a good 45-60 minutes preparing my EQ lessons, depending upon how good the talks are in Sacrament Meeting that day.

:rofl:

You're better than I. I "wing" mine. That is, when I used to be class teacher. I am all hung up in administrative callings these days. Ward clerk. Finance clerk. Ward website administrator. Emergency communications specialist.

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Hello W2K...

I'm glad you seem comfortable, even enthusiastic, about your calling.

Your ward/branch library should have a teachers' guide called "Teaching: No Greater Call" that has many helpful guidelines for teaching. If it doesn't, ask for one to be ordered from the Distribution Center.

I think the important thing is to get a discussion going by asking questions, i.e., read and become familiar with the lesson. Make an outline of what you want to cover, including questions you want to ask as you go along to facilitate discussion vs. your simply reiterating what the lesson says. Don't be afraid to let a little silence happen as the class has time to formulate thoughts, etc. for responses. But don't let the silence become uncomfortable so be prepared to ask a second question, i.e. "Do you think it may be because _____?" New people are sometimes hesitant to speak up, but you will be able to gauge how soon to speak again the more you know your class and become comfortable yourself.

Also, sometimes I would pass out pre-printed scriptures or quotations for class members to read aloud as the lesson moves along... which helps new people get used to participating and speaking in front of the class.

Your outline will keep you moving in the direction you want, and help you remember points you want to make... Sometimes a handout to take home with scriptural references is helpful. I always encouraged classes to read the lesson/scriptural references during the week. That way they have time to think about the lesson, form their thoughts, and are more apt to enter into a discussion.

Good luck...

GG

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Above all else pray before preparation then listen to the spirit during preparation. Then pray before presentation and listin to the spirit during presentation. It works. It is the only way that I am able to teach. I know the gospel pretty well but the only way I can teach is sole reliance on the spirit.

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Why don't you read each lesson a week or two before class and then come and discuss it here? That way you will get people's various viewpoints that can help you if the discussion lags and you won't be surprised so much if something not in the manual gets thrown your way because (hopefully) someone will mention it here first and discussion about its status as doctrine or speculation is clear enough to you.

Since we are just finishing up two years of studying the same manual, the lessons should be fresh in our minds.

Those of us so inclined can also track down relevant materials to help you feel more confident in knowing background, etc.

It will be fun.

Great advice. I was recently called as the Gospel Doctrine teacher and if you follow the above advice it will be of GREAT help. Good luck in your new calling.

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Their is only one way to go and that is to read-ponder-pray... read with comprehention;;;;ponder about what youve read;; pray with sincerity over and over and over... then read ponder and pray some more...:] then you will do just excatly what the lord has in mind for you to accomplish..

trust me if u-r sincere in all these things you will do great and many will be blessed because of your preparation.. {which includes complete personal worthiness of course},,,..:}

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For all kinds of assignments, teaching, speaking, etc., it is far more important to prepare yourself than it is to prepare the material (which is not unimportant, in and of itself, btw).

Others have made the point that only the Spirit can adequately tell you what you should teach and how to present it. I second that ardently: He will do just what is needed when you need it and are ready to receive it.

"Preparing yourself" is not an event, it is a process that occurs whenever you're awake (and possibly asleep—I don't know much about that, as I am not conscious when it happens to me). The procedure is well known, although notably amorphous.

However, the biggest thing I have found that makes it work is not to get too wound around the axle about the assignment, but focus on the needs of the audience. If they know you care about them, whatever you say or do will be sufficient.

Lehi

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Ok… so after being an official member of the church since June, I have a calling that starts in January - Gospel essentials teacher. Hmmm…. The branch President asked me how I "felt" about it. That was unexpected…. I"m the therapist here!!! He's the scientist!!! Not that I'm complaining. It was nice. Anyway…. I'm not too worried about the actual calling - but I am wondering about other's experience in what made this class a positive experience. My experience with it has just been to read the chapter with the group each week and have discussion. Are there other ways to do it?? I informed the husband he'd be helping me :)

Thanks!!!

Threw you right into the fire did they?

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Hello!

I am new to the whole mormon experience. Could someone tell me what a calling is, please? It sounds a bit like a task, right?

Sorry for the naive question!

Nettie :)

In the Church you get the opportunity to serve the other members in various capacities. So, right now my calling is to be in charge of the missionaries and the ward member missionary activities also known as a ward mission leader. I got asked to do this about 3 months ago. You don't know what time you will have the calling , it could be 2 months or 2 years. We believe that callings are inspired from Heavenly Father and so I believe that at this moment right now God wants me to do this calling and in time he will want me to do another calling and it is all volunteer

Edited by Duncan
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Hello Nettie...

As Duncan explained... a "calling" is appointment to a position of service within the Ward (church congregation).

Right now my "calling" is assistant ward librarian, which I love, for the past year and a half. Previously I've held various other callings such as Relief Society (women's auxiliary) teacher (almost two years), counselor to Rel Soc president (two different times), visiting teacher coordinator (almost two years), a two-year ward mission, etc. All are voluntary... the bishop (ward pastor) issues a calling to a position, we almost always accept callings, the next Sunday our name and proposed position is announced to the congregation, which is asked to "sustain" (support) us in our calling. We are then blessed by a member of the bishopric which is referred to as being "set apart" in the calling and it becomes official. We are released from callings with a vote of thanks by the congregation.

Even the bishop is "called" as such and is voluntary (usually 5 years). We do not have professional pastors.

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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Ok… so after being an official member of the church since June, I have a calling that starts in January - Gospel essentials teacher. Hmmm…. The branch President asked me how I "felt" about it. That was unexpected…. I"m the therapist here!!! He's the scientist!!! Not that I'm complaining. It was nice. Anyway…. I'm not too worried about the actual calling - but I am wondering about other's experience in what made this class a positive experience. My experience with it has just been to read the chapter with the group each week and have discussion. Are there other ways to do it?? I informed the husband he'd be helping me :)

Thanks!!!

Hey, I'm also a convert (since February), and my calling is ward missionary, which includes teaching the gospel essentials class. From my experience, what makes the class enjoyable is to encourage lots of participation (I always have a different person read each scripture verse, talk quote, etc), bring in other material such as conference talks, ensign articles, and other official material, etc. Some of the other ward missionaries like to play games based on the lesson, like Jeopardy. Also, we always start off by asking everyone to say their name, where they're from (this is a YSA ward in NYC, so we always have visitors and most are not from the area), and something random, like how their week was, how excited you are for the holidays, favorite hobby, etc. I think that that helps loosen everyone up.

Hope that helps!

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With any teaching position in the Church, preparation is the key. For example, I always spend a good 45-60 minutes preparing my EQ lessons, depending upon how good the talks are in Sacrament Meeting that day.

Hey, I think I've seen you in my congregation. Are you the guy with the i-Pad that switches to games when you finish your lesson? :crazy: MW

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To OP, be sure you get set apart for the calling so that you have the authority to do it (and entitled to the help you need). Don't be afraid to use music to help you teach the subject --- the new members may not understand that is why we sing hymns and primary songs, and for sure they might not be familiar with the hymns primary songs. Also be prayerful about using material that is not in your manual. There has been a lot of training lately about limiting supplemental material to specific church material and teaching what the church wants taught as expressed in the manual, rather than what a teacher prefers to teach --- this is particularly important when it comes to the gospel essentials class --- though this time through I found a couple of things in the gospel principles manual for which I have haven't found scriptural support, after study. (The Ensigns over the last two years have had a number of articles on the topics in the Gospel Principles manual because it has been the RS/Priesthood curriculum.)

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There is a difference between using supplemental materials in the lesson and using them to prepare oneself, just to clarify. You can spend all the time you want in whatever materials you want in preparation...whatever you feel will help you be more confident and more prepared to teach with the Spirit. I have found that being familiar with a lot of the surrounding issues that are not dealt with in the lessons actually helps me keep the lesson focused on what is important because I personally understand that importance better knowing the greater context it fits into plus it's easier to avoid the sidetracks if one knows where the sidetracks are, easier to steer class members back on track gracefully as well.

This may not be as helpful for others, especially if their time is limited (my time never has been that limited due to having 'free time' when unable to sleep at night, reading is something that can be done that doesn't disturb even the most sensitive of babies).

Edited by calmoriah
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Ok… so after being an official member of the church since June, I have a calling that starts in January - Gospel essentials teacher. Hmmm…. The branch President asked me how I "felt" about it. That was unexpected…. I"m the therapist here!!! He's the scientist!!! Not that I'm complaining. It was nice. Anyway…. I'm not too worried about the actual calling - but I am wondering about other's experience in what made this class a positive experience. My experience with it has just been to read the chapter with the group each week and have discussion. Are there other ways to do it?? I informed the husband he'd be helping me :)

Thanks!!!

W2K,

Teaching I think is one of the best callings there is and holds the most gratification. The reason why is you are privy to insights regarding your lesson from spiritual sources. You'll find them valuable when you learn to follow these promptings and taylor your lesson accordingly.

My basic routine was to start the next week's lesson Sunday after church! That gave me all week to get insight. I simply read the entire lesson all the way through, then pick out section and do a search on LDS.org on the subect of that section. Add some of your own stories in the mix and dont forget to call on the people in the room. Once you get going, the challenge is to finish your lesson's main idea without the class over-participating!

Im sure everyone has their own method, but that one has worked for me for a long time. What a wonderful opportunity you have!

Edited by Messenger
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