“Any Opposed?”: You’re the Stake President!

by: Bishop Bill

February 25, 2012

For this poll we are going to try something a little different. You are going to be the Stake President! I’ve never been a Stake President, but the following happened to a ward I know, and I’m sure it happens more then we’d like it to.

Three years ago you called a new bishop for the 4th ward in your stake.  He is a capable family man with several kids. But he has an overbearing personality, and can get on peoples nerves at times. He also tends to micromanage, telling the auxiliaries and quorums how to run their programs.  You have had many PPIs with him, trying to teach him good management and leadership skills, but nothing seems to work.

You started getting complaints about this bishop soon after he was called, but you just chalked it up to the normal complaints you receive about all new bishops in the stake while their wards are getting use to  them. But the ones from 4th ward seems to be more frequent, and they have not abated.

Last year you got word that several families in 4th ward have started to attend other wards because of this bishop. You met with the families, and they understand they can’t have callings in the new ward, but they are firm in not going back to their geographical ward while the current bishop is in place. You also learn that several people stopped going to church all together, and then just last week, the person you called to be Elders Quorum President turned you down, saying he could not work with that bishop.

You have contemplated releasing the bishop after  just 3 years, but don’t want to embarrass him in front of the ward. You must weigh this against all the members that may be lost, some permanently because of this bishop.

You're the Stake President. What do you do?

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16 Responses to “Any Opposed?”: You’re the Stake President!

  1. Stephen Marsh on February 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Err, call up and chat with the Area Authority 70 …

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  2. Jeff Spector on February 25, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    None of my choices appear in the poll. Just release him.

    We had a problem like that in our Stake when they called a 25 year old Bishop.

    The older folks didn’t like it and some stopped attending. But he was a really good guy. So it was really their problem, not him. The Stake President defended himself a bunch of times over that call.

    Eventually the 25 year old became a Stake President later in another state.

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  3. whizzbang on February 25, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I have seen this a few times but with some different variables. One Bishop lived across the street and he did whatever was necessary to get sacrament meeting done and that was it, he wouldn’t do anything else and everything fell to his new member counselor who burned out and left the Church in a short while afterwards but the Bishop was only there for 3 years. Another micromanaging bishop and his hag wife got released to be on the High Council, he wanted to be stake president and when that didn’t happen he moved to Alberta where he can die in S. Alberta misery for all I care

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  4. Bradly Baird on February 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    In my home ward, many years ago, the Stake President called a new Bishop and when he asked for a sustaining vote, about half the ward opposed it (for the very reasons you described above). The Stake President went ahead with the sustaining and set this Bishop apart, and then proceeded to interview every one who had opposed it. My father was put in as First Counselor and spent the next five years running interference on behalf of this Bishop because no one could stand him, and most were very very vocal about it. To make matters worse, this great division in the ward became known as the “cancer” and was the subject of testimony meetings for years to come. The whole thing nearly destroyed our ward. Release this guy immediately.

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  5. Douglas on February 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    My impression is that ward “politics” are playing a significant role and these bishops who weren’t favorably received were losers in a popularity contest. There may have been legitimate reasons to object to a particular man to serve as bishop, and there is an opportunity to voice them. Hopefully the SP is conscientious and gives honest objections prayerful concern before he proceeds. The ward shouldn’t be expected to just salute the SP’s proposal for whom will be bishop.
    However, once that call has been made, it’s up to the ward to work with their bishop to the best of their respective abilities. For the SP to just cave is weak. I’ve dealt with a few knuckleheads as bishop including one outright self-righteous prick, but I didn’t let them drive me into inactivity. Is it not the Savior’s Church? What right do I have to jeapordize my testimony and that of my family over what amounts to indulging one’s ego?

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  6. Chris on February 25, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I’ve had several bishops who are micromanagers and who offended many people but I don’t know of anyone who become inactive because of them. We all rejoice when we have a bishop who is compassionate, empathetic, and respectful but sometimes it seems we have a Peter-like person called to lead who is brash, bold, and even brutal at times. Some seem to be called to lead and love, others to try us.

    I will no longer serve in leadership under Nazi-type bishops. I’ve done it too many times and it has felt like an exercise in futility since I’ve had to undo their damage, withstand their barbs, and soothe people with hurt feelings while I am hurting.

    Our last bishop was overbearing. I visited friends’ and family members’ wards often and tried to notice my bishops’ strengths. He was released last Sunday, and his clone was sustained. I suppose it will be another long 5 years.

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  7. Douglas on February 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Jeff – I seem to recall that there was a bright young feller that was called to be bishop of an SLC ward with 1000 members, including 85 widows. Perhaps there were some in that ward some 62 years ago that had doubts about this “whippersnapper’s” abilities. I’m certain that he let such sentiment roll off his back like a duck shedding water and in his current role as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, he still does.

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  8. hawkgrrrl on February 26, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    At some point, this becomes a problem with practicality. You literally can’t fill all the callings. Micro-managing bishops can be worthy good men but simply have terrible leadership skills and they are unlikely to be willing to reform. I am thinking of one situation where I didn’t know the bishop very well, but the RS president was a good friend who couldn’t stand working under his leadership because he was so heavy handed and stifling. I thought it was just a personality clash until the Primary President, someone who never ever complained and wasn’t even a close friend said the same thing to me very apologetically (I needed a calling filled for months that was just not happening).

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  9. el oso on February 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    After 3 years it is time for a release. There does not need to be any other calling extended. Who cares if you get released earlier than 5 years into your calling. This is normal for most other callings.
    The EQ president saying he cannot work with the Bishop should be a giant red flag. In fact, you have someone on the short list for the new Bishop.

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  10. NewlyHousewife on February 26, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I’m having a hard time agreeing (more like understanding) with the people who voted to improve the dude’s training. The post says you’ve tried to help him but none worked. If his ego really matters that much, call him to the high council; otherwise just release him.

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  11. hawkgrrrl on February 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    I like the idea of just releasing him, but Bishop Bill didn’t provide that option. I wonder if that’s just too harsh given that everyone lobbied for him to be “fired.” Perhaps church leadership doesn’t want the guy to go inactive because he’s offended at an early release. Nevermind all the other families who’ve gone inactive. . .

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  12. Paul on February 27, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    If I were the stake president, I hope I had enough revelatory capacity to seek and understand the Lord’s will in the matter.

    When I was released as bishop, it was not because my time was “done” (I’d served 4-1/2 years in my present ward; two years earlier in another ward), but the stake president simply said, “In my prayers this morning, I had the impression we should think about releasing you. What do you think of that?” Within moments we were talking about my thoughts about a successor.

    There’s no reason not to release the bishop unless the Lord clearly tells the stake president not to. In the meantime, attending the ward and getting some on the ground experience couldn’t hurt.

    1 Nephi 4:13 leaps to mind.

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  13. Brian on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Paul–you mean like the relevatory capacity that put him in as bishop in the first place?

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  14. Paul on February 28, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Brian, sure. But many are called but few are chosen. This may well apply to bishops, too. And without knowing any more details, it sounds like this one has plenty of Section 121 issues.

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  15. DB on February 29, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    “You have contemplated releasing the bishop after just 3 years, but don’t want to embarrass him in front of the ward.”

    This bishop clearly needs to be released ASAP but I’m also concerned about the attitude of the SP. If the SP is considering not releasing a bishop who is ripping his ward apart out of fear of embarrassing him, then he probably doesn’t have the leadership strength needed to be a SP. A SP should never let the members of his stake suffer becasue he doesn’t want to embarrass a bully. The bishop should be released and not placed in any leadership role.

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  16. Joe on March 4, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Good grief, just release him. I’ve seen good bishops last only a short time and bad bishops stick around.

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