“How can I develop enthusiasm to magnify my present church calling?” New Era, Jan. 1971, 11
How can I develop enthusiasm to magnify my present church calling when I’m honestly not all that excited about it?
Answer/Dean Lowell L. Bennion
Whoever asked this question realizes that church work should be done with enthusiasm and spirit. With this we heartily agree for two reasons:
1. If a calling in Christ’s church is service to him, then surely it should be rendered with heart, mind, and soul. And surely we should follow his admonition to be “anxiously engaged in a good cause” and do his will and not do it “with a doubtful heart or with slothfulness.” (D&C 58:27, 29.)
2. A second reason to work whole-souled in a calling is to keep one’s own integrity. Some things, such as doing dishes or brushing one’s teeth should be placed on the level of routine and may be executed with mind and heart elsewhere; but the significant things of life that we undertake voluntarily ought to be done with full purpose of heart, with conviction, or one’s whole life may be farcical or even hypocritical.
There must be one or more reasons why we perform halfheartedly in a church calling. Maybe our love for the gospel, the Church, or people is shallow; or we put too little effort into the job; or we feel incompetent. Perhaps we are caught in the mechanics of the calling and labor without vision or meaning.
In my experience there is one sure way of maintaining a lively interest in one’s church calling—that is, to see purpose in it. Football is exciting because it is goal-oriented. Life is meaningful when it is purposeful. The church worker must also find his purpose.
In any church service, the goal is to touch human lives for good—to kindle faith in God, a love for Christ, the desire to repent. It is to build lives, to save souls.
When one gets that vision of his calling, then teaching is not giving a lesson; it is leading John and Mary to greater self-respect, to increased trust in God, and to a deeper concern for others. Blessing the sacrament is not reading a prayer; it is uniting the hearts of all believers in a humble supplication to God. Ushering is more than finding a seat; it is giving a reverent and warm greeting to Sister Jones and leading her to her seat.
When church work is viewed as service to individuals for God and Christ, then where we serve is quite incidental. Class president, youth committee representatives, teacher, secretary, bishop, Scout patrol leader, home teacher, baby sitter, organist, Scoutmaster, collector of fast offerings, apostle, custodian—each has an equal but unique opportunity to learn the joy of service.
“And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (Matt. 20:27.)