So…what happens when a person gets called to a leadership position and it’s your opinion that this person is not fit to lead? Maybe you’ve know them personally and based on what you’ve witnessed in the past, you can’t believe that the Lord would actually want them to preside over you and others. You’ve never seen them commit any type of grievous sin or break any sort of law…but you just can’t believe that this person would be called to lead!
When this happens, it can and has become a real issue for many people. It might cause you to doubt the validity of a calling or the method through which the calling was issued. It might make you wonder why God would choose “this person” to preside over other people when you’ve witnessed what you would consider less than stellar behavior from that newly called leader. You might think to yourself, “if they knew what I knew…that person would have never been called to that position.”
So what do you do?
Some people go berserk. They stew and fret and obsess over this one individual and their new found authority. It might cause them to stop coming to church, or seek an exception to the ward boundaries.
Don’t do that…
Regardless of how you feel about your recently called leader, if he or she has asked you to do something that will please God, then just do it. Why not right? You can’t go wrong when you’re doing good things regardless of who is asking you to do them. If you believe the request to be unrighteous, then ask to speak with the leader privately in order to preserve his or her dignity in front of others. Never start badmouthing that leader to other members behind their back. If you yourself would ever like to be a good leader, you should know that good leaders are never gossipers. They don’t go behind others backs or try to “gather others to take their side” to help justify their feelings toward another person.
The Savior gave an outline on how to handle these disagreeable situations. He said “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
How you handle yourself in these situations will determine the type of leader you will become. In fact, it is the defining character attribute of the greatest leaders to turn bad situations into good ones. It could be the single hardest thing you learn how to do in your life but if you can “Turn frowning foes, to smiling friends,” then you will be classed among the greatest leaders this earth has ever seen regardless of your current title or position.
Don’t let your perceptions turn into grudges. Grudges into fights. Fights into wars. That person that bugs you so much…is your brother or sister, and a flawed human just like you.
Them being called to lead doesn’t diminish your ability to lead. In fact, some of the best leaders show their true leadership abilities at the times when they’re not holding prestigious titles. Good leaders are always the best followers. You might be able to help, influence, and lift the person that was just called to that position.
Many of those that are called to leadership positions in the church are not necessarily prepared to serve in the capacity that they’ve been called to serve in. Some have never served in a single leadership position in their life. They may not know what to do and they might be completely overwhelmed. They’re probably confused and scared and possibly as dumbfounded are you are that they were called to that position.
So help them, forgive them, support them, and sustain them and get to know them. The more you get to know them and understand them, the more you might come to love them.