If you have an ecclesiastical leader, what kind of report card would you give that person? For the sake of being honest, imagine you could hand out the grades anonymously.
As a Mormon, this person would be my bishop. I’ve had a lot of those in my earlier nomadic life. Never had a terrible one, but some were better than others. They are, after all, human. Of a sort.
Note: I say “of a sort” because it’s utterly foreign to me that anyone would agree to be the shepherd of a congregation of humans. But some people are able to do it remarkably well.
Just such a shepherd was Bishop G. He sometimes asked me to watch my language and to stop cooking bacon in the nursery on fast Sunday, but I never doubted that he had my best interests at heart.
Regrettably, not everyone felt that way. Besides my unconventional behavior, he also had to endure anonymous letters from a ward member who felt the need to occasionally insult him, his wife and children.
Anyway, back to the report card. What follows is a form that you may fill out and mail, post online, pin on the ward’s bulletin board, or slide under the bishop’s door.
This also works if you are your own ecclesiastical leader. It won’t be anonymous, of course, but you can at least try to give yourself an honest grade.
I was initially going to work with multiple choice, but that seemed to limit the range of response. So we’ll go with a 1-10 scoring system, with 1 being complete disagreement, and 10 being the highest form of agreement.
This will obviously have a Mormon slant to it because I’m … well, you get the point. Anyway, here’s the form, (with a space for scoring after each item):
Dear [Insert your leader’s name here]
• You are an inspiration to my family and me. We love you.____
• Your counsel is instrumental in keeping me from punching Brother/Sister Wurmhole in the face every Sunday. ____
• A drunk could do a better job than you when it comes to filling callings in the church.____
• I wish you would liven things up in sacrament meeting.____
• You need to talk to a certain person about hogging all the testimony time on fast Sunday.____
• You have my permission to administer corporal punishment to my children as long as it doesn’t leave a mark.____
• The calling I have is proof of your own desperation rather than spiritual inspiration.____
• I feel that I can tell you all of my darkest sins and thoughts.____
• Beyond that which keeps the average person out of trouble, you always tell me the truth.____
• You are the sort of spiritual leader who would allow me to bear witness in church to President Donald Trump being guided by our Heavenly Father.____
• You should occasionally allow us to use bear Mace instead of consecrated oil when blessing some people.____
• I’m gay and have a life partner, but you don’t mind.____
• You need to lose weight/get hair implants/or otherwise improve your appearance. And, for heaven’s sake, wear a different suit.____
• Your children are an embarrassment to the entire stake.____
• Your spouse could do a better job of running the congregation than you.____
• It is your secret wish that I would hurry up and find a different ward or church to attend.____
• You will take away my temple recommend if I confess to hitting my abusive husband in the head with an iron skillet so hard that his shoes came untied.____
• You’re the kind of bishop who would let me substitute a column from The Salt Lake Tribune for a Sunday school lesson.____
• I hate you, your spouse, kids, dog, and I wish you would move out of the ward, preferably to someplace horrible.____
• I’m the one who keyed your car at stake conference. Neener, neener.____
• Overall, I give your performance as a spiritual leader the following grade: A B C D F (Circle one)