How many Hours a week does it take ????

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barryhill
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Location: Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA

How many Hours a week does it take ????

Postby barryhill » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:36 pm

I am a ward clerk. I am also semi-retired with far more time than the average guy. At 61 I have decades of experience in bishoprics, clerks office, and every male calling at a ward level other than bishop. I have a technology background so I am one of the most 2 or 3 computer savvy members of my ward. I have a good financial clerk and another good assistant clerk.

My question is; has there ever been a study done on how many hours a week it takes to magnify this calling and competently serve bishopric meeting, PEC meeting, Ward Council, disciplinary councils, do quarterly reports, keep 500 revolving membership records up-to-date, train members on LDS.org (or take photos and correct map markers myself), enter all calling changes, maintain a speakers list, etc., etc., etc.

I spend days a week and our records are not near what they should be. Granted, I am correcting issues that have been decades in the making but either: I am extremely inefficient, or other wards have membership records that are a mess. I just cannot believe that many wards find clerks to put in the time I put in.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the service and find it a challenge. It is my own little mission. I am just concerned that a system that takes this much work will falter or fall into totally inaccurate record keeping. I don't think any full-time working man with a family could begin to do what I do and it is not enough.

your thoughts?

PS: My quest is to get our membership records to 100% accuracy then die in peace ;)

dannykos
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Postby dannykos » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:01 pm

simple answer is - you could spend all the hours of every day, and still not do everything. The answer is to have assistants called who can be responsible for various segments of responsibility ie. membership clerk, ward website directory clerk, etc, etc…

Your priorities will be decided by your bishop, so do those and delegate the rest :)

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:05 pm

Do you have a functioning Membership and Finance clerk? If not, then you're doing the job of 3 people.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

barryhill
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Location: Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA

Postby barryhill » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:05 pm

barryhill wrote:I have a good financial clerk and another good assistant clerk.


The assist clerk helps with both membership and finances but I do most of the membership.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:55 pm

barryhill wrote:My question is; has there ever been a study done on how many hours a week it takes to magnify this calling and competently serve bishopric meeting, PEC meeting, Ward Council, disciplinary councils, do quarterly reports, keep 500 revolving membership records up-to-date, train members on LDS.org (or take photos and correct map markers myself), enter all calling changes, maintain a speakers list, etc., etc., etc.

I spend days a week and our records are not near what they should be. Granted, I am correcting issues that have been decades in the making but either: I am extremely inefficient, or other wards have membership records that are a mess. I just cannot believe that many wards find clerks to put in the time I put in.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the service and find it a challenge. It is my own little mission. I am just concerned that a system that takes this much work will falter or fall into totally inaccurate record keeping. I don't think any full-time working man with a family could begin to do what I do and it is not enough.

your thoughts?

Has there ever been a study? Doubt it. I'm not sure anyone really wants to know the answers to that. I am a Stake Clerk in a YSA stake and also a student so I have a lot more flexibility with my schedule than "conventional" clerks. It is not uncommon for me to put in 10-15 hours during the week and it's rare if my Sunday is less than 10 hours.

Magnifying is a double-edges sword - the more you look, the more you'll find.

jpjones~ogr
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Postby jpjones~ogr » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:48 pm

My long experience in clerical callings indicates that clerical duties and time commitments can vary widely by Ward or Branch. If all members were active or even readily accessible my records could be much more accurate than they currently are. Some units have very little membership turnover, where others have considerable turnover. Several members don't want any contact with the Church, which makes my questions about their records essentially unanswerable for the moment. Also, clerks have varying skills and dedication, which most recently has given me several records with no contact information as well as one family's records that arrived ahead of them.

There used to be a comment or two in the General Handbooks about Clerks being specially skilled, and it seemed that encouragement was being given to keep capable clerks as long as the unit could, even through several Bishoprics. I've offered to provide a few brethren an essentially a lifetime calling if they'll let me teach them what I do. No one has accepted my offer.

Br. BarryHill I'm very glad to hear what appears to be enchantment with this opportunity to fulfill this latest calling. I've had my emotional ups and downs about clerking over at least 25 years of this service, but I still find excitement at correcting members records, spending money wisely, and supporting great local leaders. Being a detective at times is also exciting.

I don't think I've ever tried to figure out how much time I'd need to commit to being a clerk. I have had great fun doing the work though. And I'm sure my time commitment doesn't compare to what our great Bishops provide.

Take care brethren.

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:36 am

barryhill wrote:Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the service and find it a challenge. It is my own little mission.


Then the perfect person is called for the job! I'm also a ward clerk, and told my family I'd be spending a few minutes at the church Saturday morning, and after four hours they called to ask if I was still alive!

I echo what others have said... share the workload! Consider asking your bishop to call a dedicated "membership clerk" to work with you, perhaps even keeping your assistant clerk for additional duties to help you. Some wards call an additional "statistical clerk," for those quarterly reporting duties. I look at this delegation as an opportunity to teach others the workings of ward organization.

Assistant clerks, and assistant executive secretaries can each have specific duties to free you up for what only you can do as ward clerk. With your skills and experience, you might be the road builder. Don't forget the many duties that wouldn't require a priesthood (bishopric) calling, which would allow sisters to use their organizational talents as well, such as a website admin, or ward calendar admin.

When I became clerk, I streamlined many of the processes, and found great time savings. Once a process was improved, it was easy then to delegate the running of that process to another. Our speakers list is an example- it was once keep in two separate spreadsheets- one for tracking adults and one for youth speakers, and clerks had been working it in this way for years. We made a simple process change, adding a "custom member field" for a speaking date now within MLS, and a custom report that accesses that field, and a cumbersome process is now streamlined to take just a few minutes each week, and the data is far more accessible and the reports are far more useful.

We all need to streamline our processes, and delegate to others to both free our time for our priorities, and teach others about performing these important tasks for the day when they are called to be ward clerk!

gdbrown
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I have a system!

Postby gdbrown » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Great thread! I too have had a life long association with the Clerk callings in the church starting as a Mission Recorder back in the early 70's. I have served in all the clerking positions at least twice and some 4 times as well as being Executive Secretary 5 times. I have found a system that has helped me greatly and once the Bishopric is trained and committed membership records and callings are easy to keep up to date. It starts with two books: One records all information regarding Membership records such as changes to phone numbers, addresses, move-ins and move-outs. The other book records (as they Happen) Priesthood advancements, Blessings, Baptisms/Confirmations, and setting part of callings. Our Exec Sec or Clerk record these things in the books even though the computer generated forms are also used. It worked just fine before MLS and makes keeping MLS up to date much easier.

My adage is: If it is in the book it will get recorded! :cool:

There are no loose pieces of paper floating around the office to get lost. All the Bishopric and the Leaders know that information in the book gets looked at!
I credit a good friend and fellow clerk, Gordon Gray for helping develop this system together we have used it for over 20 years in Hillsboro.

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carljokl
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Postby carljokl » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:03 am

Delegating is all good and well if the leadership give you people to delegate work to. I am not currently Ward Clerk but was one, assistant and then the main Clerk for 5 years until I moved away. At the end I was a Clerk in a ward but did not have an assistant. I did mention to the bishop that by the book a Ward clerk should have at least one assistant. I didn't get one. In the end I focused on the Finances as this way my primary responsibility and the membership records degraded as a result. At the end of the day I could only do so much and if the leadership were unwilling to give me an assistant that was the consequence. Nothing seems to have changed as my successor in the Ward has no assistants either. The Ward has one of the largest congregations in the Stake. The difficulty with calling Clerks though can be that it is hard to find people who are competent and trustworthy who don't already have some other calling.
There are no problems, only solutions.

pgm44
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Location: Philippines, Cagayan de Oro city, Northern Mindanao

Postby pgm44 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:54 am

I am Dutch, retired and live in the Philippines.I am called as a clerk in the biggest ward in our stake. I have no assistant clerk and spend every day 2 hours in the office and Sunday the whole day.
I am very happy with my calling and try to do my best to organize the membership and finacial records. But living and seaching for answers and people in the Philippines is not as easy as in Europe and the USA. Even with the help of other members is it very difficult to find out where members have moved to. Many houses are in places were are no names of streets or house numbers. Phone numbers are changing regulair without any update.
But it is a great calling and I am sure one day I will have an assistant and we can update and record what we have to record.
Brother gdbrown, thank you for the idea about the two record books. I will for sure follow that example. Now we indeed have many memory stickers all over.
I hope my English is as good as my Dutch and you reader understand my posting.
Keep busy to record what you have to record...


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