Lisa Gregory currently serves as a Stake Young Women Secretary in the Washington D.C. area. She has previously served as a counselor in her ward Relief Society and Primary presidencies and served a mission in Japan. She is the oldest of six children and grew up in a traditional LDS home. She attended and graduated from Brigham Young University and later earned her Master’s degree. She met her future husband at the age of 36 and they were sealed in the Washington D.C. temple a little more than a year later. They have now been married approximately 5 ½ years.
As a young single adult in the Church, Lisa spent time in Boston, Virginia, New York and Atlanta before returning to the Washington D.C. area. It was there that, now as a mid-single adult, she was called by her stake president to assist in organizing and serving as co-chair of the first mid-single adult program on the East coast; a calling she would serve in for nearly four years. In this interview Lisa shares her perspective on some of the struggles that single individuals in the church face and how her stake has worked to address those concerns, specifically among the mid-single adult population, by establishing a “Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward.”
In Lisa’s opinion, one of the most difficult aspects about being single in the church is judgment (16:30)
- Judgment of self – Is it me?
- Judgement from others
- Real judgment
- Perceived judgement
What leaders did to help Lisa and those that worked with her feel more connected to the family culture of the church in her calling working with other Mid-Single Adults (21:30)
- Leaders valued input. They didn’t assume to know what was best for singles in the stake.
- Stake leaders leaned on and expressed confidence in the Singles leadership that had been called.
- They listened to and followed input from the Singles leadership
- Made the focus on serving singles in the stake a partnership between the Singles leadership, the stake presidency and the Lord.
Structure and parameters of a Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward (24:30)
- One ward in the stake designated as the Mid-Singles Emphasis Ward
- Anyone in the stake between the designated ages can transfer their records into the Emphasis Ward (an existing normal family ward)
- If an individual transfers their records in they are expected to attend and be active in that ward
- Individuals must be willing to receive a calling and assignments (including home and visiting teaching assignments) in that ward
- A Mid-Singles Gospel Doctrine class is created but singles are fully integrated into Sacrament Meeting and Relief Society and Priesthood quorum meetings
- Separate Mid-Singles Activity committee (in addition to any ward-level activities committee)
- Once a month Saturday activity and once a month mid-week activities held (to accommodate singles who choose to remain in their home ward)
- Regional and multi-stake Mid-Single Adult conferences and institute classes also held
- Clear delegation – follow up and gratitude are critical for any leadership calling in the church (36:00)
- Other’s blessings can be “short-circuited” when we don’t allow them to serve and become involved
- Leaders are in danger of losing sight of the ministry of their calling when they overwhelm themselves taking on too much
- Leaders can help others develop as leaders as responsibilities are delegated to them
- By following up and holding individuals accountable we show them that their contributions matter
- Helping others see the vision and showing gratitude for their efforts is a key to this process
- Be clear with yourself and others around what the Lord is calling you do administer and what ministry he is calling you to do (43:00)
- All of the administration means nothing if there is no ministry, which means bringing people to Christ
- Divide and conquer the administrative responsibilities to handle them quickly and efficiently so that the focus can remain on ministering
- Come to understand what the ministry is that the Lord would have us do
- How can I take care of the administration in a way pleasing to the Lord while keeping my eye on the ministering of my calling?
- God leads and you follow (48:00)
- There is no such thing as “intentionally creating a legacy” in our callings. The impact we really want is the ministry—we want people to remain close to Christ
- We can’t get hung up on the idea that if programs, practices or methods change after our release that it invalidates the service we provided in our calling
- Allow God to lead you in your calling—as well as those who come after you—in the way that He needs you (and them) to lead right now
- Not everything is of equal value (51:25)
- Simple is beautiful and we are not asked to run faster than we can
- We are commanded to organize and prepare every needful thing (DC 109:8).
- Be thoughtful about what is “needful” and what will contribute most to the ministry of your calling
How being a leader has helped Lisa become a better disciple of Jesus Christ (55:50)
- Has helped her to let go of judgment of herself and others
- Has helped her see there is much more joy and spirit in supporting leaders and finding things they are doing well than there is in criticism
- Has felt the love of Christ for us and it has increased her love for Him (1 John 4:19) A
- “If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself!: The Power of Effective Delegation” by Donna M Genett
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “It Works Wonderfully!” (October 2015 General Conference)
- “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown