So a dear friend of mine just got called to a new bishopric and wants to know the known knowns, the known unknowns, and, of course, the unknown unknowns.
He asked me if I’d encountered any discussions of best practices on the topic in my years in the Bloggernacle. I told him that we’d obviously never discuss something so practical when there was speculative bloviating that could be done instead.
I do have one to contribute; I’m pretty sure I stole this from a discussion at BCC. Make sacrament meeting speaking assignments six months in advance. Do not assign topics. Check in with the speaker two weeks before and discuss their outline. Hoped-for outcomes: no more last-minute thrown-together talks, but something the speaker feels deeply about, has something substantial to share about, and has pondered and developed. The two-week check-in gives you a chance to be sure that they haven’t prepared anything wacky, or gently redirect as needed.
Another one: it pains me that we have given up on teacher improvement. This is supposed to be the job of the Sunday School Presidency (don’t get me started on how that prohibits women’s involvement), but I think the cultural norm of SS leadership doing nothing has bled over and so, at least in my experience, there is no teacher improvement.
OK, one more: there’s a lot I could say on the feminist front, but let’s start small and easy: no gendered pattern for who gives opening/closing prayers or the speaker order in sacrament meeting.
So: bishopric members, what do you wish you had known/done/thought when you started out? Everyone: what are some really amazing things your local leaders have done? What are the best practices? What about innovative ideas, small and large, that have made wards run more smoothly?
 Usually when someone leads with “a friend of mine wants to know,” they are lying. But in this case, you know I’m not!
 Although I have great confidence that, whatever he ends up doing, he will be more successful than Donald Rumsfeld. But let this serve as a reminder to us all to pray for the many local leaders in this church who have scary new callings thrust upon them.