The LDS, or Mormon church functions under a lay ministery. This means that no one is paid for church service including the pastors and other leadership positions within the church.
One of the key leadership positions is the Elders Quorum President. According to the LDS Auxillary Guidebook, the Elders Quorum President has several duties, which include: setting example and presiding over men in the quorum, organizing home teaching (monthly service visits to congregation members), teaching men of their duties as husbands, fathers, and in the church; and ordaining men to other priesthood callings, or jobs within the church.
Each quorum can consist of up to 96 elders (men) before being split into a new quorum.
As you can imagine, the position of an elders quorum president carries a lot of weight and responsibility, especially for someone who has a job and family full-time. It can seem very overwhelming for an individual who is called to work in this position.
I know first hand how overwhelming it can be. I was called to the position in 2003 right when I had started Graduate school for my MBA. The Stake President (in the LDS church, he is the leader over a group of 8-10 congregations) called me to the position and I openly expressed my concerns with him as far as my time constraints were concerned. The quorum I was being called to had around 90 men in it and the ward (congregation) was very transient and therefore required a lot of administrative work to organize the home visits.
Noticing the concern, the Stake President offered me some very inspired advice on what an Elders Quorum President should focus on to be the spiritual leader for the men he needs to be. He offered three tips, which include:
The tendancy for a lot of presidents (said my stake president to me) is to try and tackle everything by oneself including: scheduling the home teaching visits, visiting sick members of the ward, visiting the elders in the quorum to help them maintain spiritual relationship with God, etc. He told me not to be afraid to have counselors and delegate things to them. I took his advice and called 3 counselors to help me with all of the administration behind the scenes and it made a huge difference.
- Minister vs. Administer
Ministering is the heart of Christ-like service, he said. Administering helps, but isn’t the heart of Christ-like service and being a shepard, which is what the elders quorum presidents’ job entails. As a president, having counselors doing the administration while I got out and met the members of the quorum individually through visits to their homes made a great difference in me being able to try and serve like Christ would.
- Stay close to the Lord
This goes almost without saying, but it is important to keep oneself close to the Lord for inspiration to help quorum members. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle and focus only on the job and not on ones’ personal relationship with God. Regularly schedule times to read scripture, pray, and meditate. If an elders president is in tune with God, he can act as God’s hand in serving those who may be struggling.
I hope these tips help anyone who is in a leadership position. Of course, we would love to hear from those of you who are or have served in a similar position and share your insights for others to learn from. My hope is that this article will help those newly called elders quorum presidents be successful.