As a former church leader, I want to speak about those former leaders who are no longer serving in an official capacity.

Those years of service were intense!

They took a lot of sacrifice and attracted impossible problems at times.

But now, being a few years separated from those callings, sometimes we miss being in the thick of it.

We miss the trenches!

We went from standing on the sidelines of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, seeing Him change lives right before our eyes, and now we can sometimes feel like we are in the most distant seat, in the highest rafters of the arena.

I have heard some describe it as feeling like they are put out to pasture.

Recently sitting in my ward, I was amazed by how many former bishops surrounded me.

I counted 7 or 8 sitting in the elders quorum.

I wondered about the years of leadership experiences they have recorded.

The wisdom they have collected could fill many libraries.

Then my mind turned to these hidden councils of spiritual Jedi that reside in every ward.

They have so much wisdom to contribute, but most are not asked to do so.

Of course, there is power in primarily relying on the set-apart ward council for the week-to-week administration of the ward, but I also want to consider what benefit a sitting bishop or stake president could gain by getting all former bishops in one room and simply getting their feedback.

What are they seeing in the current ward?

What worked for them?

What could you change as a leader to more effectively guide people to Jesus?

A current Relief Society president could also do this with all past Relief Society presidents.

This would not only be beneficial for current leaders as they gain more perspective, but it would give these former generals a taste of the battlefield.

What ideas do you have to encourage reliance on former leaders in your area?

What other wisdom in your ward are we failing to tap into?


Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

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