Are Sunday worship services working?

That’s the question I’ve been exploring over a series of newsletter messages.

This is part 5 and for context you can find a summary of each meeting purpose at the end of this message.

In this message I’d like to consider how we can improve the Sunday worship experience by analyzing our traditions of leaders facilitating sacrament meeting talks.

I state all this after reading of the General Handbook which addresses sacrament meeting.

I recently polled the newsletter audience asking you what are the typical ways you see your bishopric organize sacrament meeting topics.

Here are the results from the non-scientific poll:

38% – Bishopric assigns a specific topic

27% – Bishopric assigns a General Conference talk

12% – Bishopric allows the speaker to choose topic

23% – Other (Ward Council chooses topic, Topic is related to CFM, etc.)

I didn’t find these results overly surprising; however, I don’t think the issue is so much how leaders assign the topic as much as how they prepare the speaker.

Preparation is key to improve the first hour of the Sunday worship experience!

I’ve mentioned previously that during my time as bishop we had a specific process that improved our sacrament meeting talks tremendously.

Here is an article I wrote about it long ago.

In short, we would invite the speaker early (4-6 weeks or longer) and the initial invitation would come via email.

We would also send them detailed expectations related to their talks.

This dramatically decreased the likelihood of unclear topics or even silly stories about how the bishopric invited them to speak.

I also think there could be more done to offer upcoming speakers support and direction as they develop their talk.

This would look different from ward to ward and may not be necessary for some speakers, but imagine if after an individual is invited to speak they then have a regular support class they go to (maybe during the second hour) where they can share ideas and get feedback from other individuals in the ward.

This would allow individuals to work out any kinks in their presentation and help guide them to a message that is focused on Jesus Christ and doctrine.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have because I am sure there are hundreds of ways to approach this.

The main point of my message is that we can improve the quality of our Sunday worship services exponentially by taking a few more steps in the preparation of sacrament meeting speakers.

Summaries of meeting purposes found in the General Handbook

Sacrament Meeting: Take the sacrament, worship, build faith and testimony, conduct ward business. (29.2.1)

Sunday School: Teach doctrine of the kingdom, support all learning and teaching. (13.1)

Relief Society: Save souls, relieve suffering, accomplish the work of salvation and exaltation, serve others, build unity, and learn and live doctrine. (9.1.1)

Elders Quorum: Accomplish the work of salvation, serve others, learn and live doctrine. (8.1.1)


Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

P.S. This is an older newsletter message. Get the up-to-date message weekly by subscribing for free HERE.

P.P.S. Read this series of messages starting HERE.

How do we help leaders

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