Someone recently turned my attention toward this paragraph in the handbook:

Sometimes the same people are called repeatedly to leadership positions. This can overburden them and their families and take opportunities away from others. Seek to give all members opportunities to serve and grow. (4.2.6)

Many of us have experienced STP (Same 10 People) being called to leadership positions repeatedly.

It’s natural to assume that bishoprics or stake presidencies are missing this paragraph and going for who they think are the safe options.

It’s easy to cast the blame on those leaders.

And then I started talking to those leaders.

I asked one stake president how he goes about making sure STP is avoided in the wards in his stake.

He told me he’d love to spread the opportunity of leadership around, but he’s been shocked by the number of people who simply turn down callings.

They either decline the invitation to meet with leadership to begin with or turn down the invitation to serve when the call is extended, claiming they need to give more time to family or personal projects.

I don’t have a clear conclusion around this topic, but I thought it was interesting enough to put it out to the Leading Saints audience.

How I see things, there are two groups of people who are unintentionally (sometimes intentionally) pushing the STP to the top of the list for callings: Leaders & Potential Leaders

(I guess that’s basically everyone. ????)

Here are possible reasons why both these groups are perhaps contributing to this dynamic:

(I’m just thinking out loud here, so some of the following assumptions might be flawed or incorrect.)


  • Cognitive bias can interfere with revelation when the STP feel like really “comfortable” or reliable options.
  • Leaders generally associate more with the STP and are more familiar with their capacity and personalities.
  • Leaders are overwhelmed with the idea of having to mentor or train new specific leaders when they already have plenty to do, so it is easier to go with someone with experience.

Potential Leaders

  • Over the last few decades, individuals have busier, more distracted lives and therefore have little bandwidth to invest in a church calling (unless it has higher social validation such as bishop, Relief Society president, or the stake presidency).
  • Families are suffering more, and children demand more attention from their parents, so church callings become more of a distraction for them.
  • Generally speaking, people are less religious, so they are less committed to accepting religious callings.

But, what do I know?

I’d love to hear what you are seeing and experiencing.

Does the STP issue exist in your ward/stake? If so, why?


Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

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