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A Question for Ward Members Out There


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#1 Still_Small_Voice

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:02 PM

I work as the Ward Building Cleaning Coordinator. We are only in charge of cleaning the building once every three months. Generally only about 3 people show up after all is said and done to clean the building for about 1.25 hours on Saturdays.

Other people in other wards also having problems with getting people to show up?

For if ye love only them which love you what reward have you?" -- Matthew 5:46 Inspired Version (changed to verse 48)

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." -- John 13:35

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#2 Eowyn

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

Yup. In fact I think we may have had the assignment yesterday, now that you mention it. The problem is, they do signups for like 3 or 4 months in advance. And we forgot. The last person in charge did reminder calls and always had a pretty good turnout.

#3 Jenamarie

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:28 PM

Ya, our ward coordinator does reminder calls too, and the assignments are on a rotation, where each auxiliary takes a turn with the clean-up (this month it's the RS turn), so the presidencies of those auxiliaries also do reminders for the people who sign up (a flyer or something the Sunday before, and a phone call Thus. or Fri.)
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#4 MorningStar

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:34 PM

We went to clean with our small children and were there for almost 5 hours because two other families bailed - one of them to go skiing. Coordinator said we were excused from helping for a few years. :D

#5 Hala401

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

My Bishop comes in on Monday and cleans and I offered to help but he said that I could not be in the building alone with him. I think there is a contractor that comes in and does the heavy stuff. I wish there was a volunteer way to do it, but if there is, I have not discovered it. As a retired woman, I can get into mischief, so things like helping out keep me focused.

#6 NeuroTypical

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 04:56 PM

Our ward assigns two HP families and two elder families per week. If all 4 show up, things take an hour. If one family shows it takes 4 hours. Usually we get two families. More often than not, the elders don't show up. I announce in church, send email and voice mail at the beginning of the week and on Fri evening. Elders maybe show up maybe half of the time maybe.

I have seen building cleanup work wonderfully, when the same one or two families do it week after week. That's a great option for when a family is receiving bishops storehouse assistance IMO (I've never been a bishop, so take my opinion for what its worth.)
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
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#7 miztrniceguy

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:02 PM

I think the able bodied that are asking for assistance from the church should be doing it.

#8 Dixielee

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:08 PM

Maybe we just have very accommodating ward members, but most of the people assigned to clean the church actually do it. At least 4 people are assigned every week. Sometimes it may be a large family or may just be 4 singles. 2 are assigned for the Chapel and "new wing" and 2 assigned for the "old wing". They list all of the assignments with names and dates in the bulletin each week for the upcoming 6 week period. That way everyone knows in advance when it is their turn, and if you keep seeing your name pop up as it moves up the list, it's hard to forget.

#9 Mahone

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:39 PM

I was vaguely aware of a ward cleaning rota in my ward, but wasn't aware of it's contents and was too busy to look into it. I caught a glance of it a couple of weeks back, and was surprised to see my name was on there. I was surprised because I hadn't been asked or informed that my name had been added to the list. This is not the way to do it :)

#10 Hala401

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

I was vaguely aware of a ward cleaning rota in my ward, but wasn't aware of it's contents and was too busy to look into it. I caught a glance of it a couple of weeks back, and was surprised to see my name was on there. I was surprised because I hadn't been asked or informed that my name had been added to the list. This is not the way to do it :)



The thing I like about the LDS is they give you all these big jobs and no training to do them. So, you wind up having to excercise your own creativity to figure it out. At first, I was terrified, having never been allowed to really do that. Now it seems better.

#11 miztrniceguy

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 07:03 PM

I was assigned to it once a long time ago. The person who was supposed to show up to meet me and unlock the doors never showed. That was before I worked on Saturdays. About 3 years ago I was surprised to find out I was assigned again, without asking, and when I said I worked on Saturdays, I was told it was my responsibility to find a replacement. I told the then EQ President he was wrong, that it was NOT my responsibility, as I had not volunteered in the first place.

#12 ClickyClack

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 07:19 PM

I work as the Ward Building Cleaning Coordinator. We are only in charge of cleaning the building once every three months. Generally only about 3 people show up after all is said and done to clean the building for about 1.25 hours on Saturdays.

Other people in other wards also having problems with getting people to show up?


I am also the ward building coordinator, and have been for nearly four years. There have been times when it has been quite a struggle for me, seeing how many people will completely trash the building, yet how few will show up to clean it. It is astounding how many people are willing to show up and use the meetinghouse, but are not only unwilling to clean it, but are unwilling to even clean up after themselves. And it is also astounding the sacrifices I have seen from people who are WILLING to come clean, in once case even when the gentlemen could barely walk from terminal cancer.

I once mentioned that to an older gentleman in my ward, and he told me that back when the church paid someone to clean the meetinghouse, he took that position while he was in college. He has since been bishop and many other things, but being the building cleaner was the hardest thing for him to do.

Furthermore, in preparing a priesthood lesson on sacrifice, I asked three bishops and former bishops what jobs or callings were the hardest to get people to accept. All three of them listed "ward cleaning" as the first.

So... how to do it? Well, take everything with a grain of salt. But here is how we handle the cleaning: At the start of every year, the bishopric makes a list of families to clean each week, including a "head family". It is not a suggestion, it is not a request, it is an assignment direct from the bishopric, so if people have any complaints, I can tell them "Take it up with the bishopric." :cool:

Each week that we clean, the head family is responsible for calling all of the families under them, letting them know, and coordinating a time to do it. I give them a couple of weeks notice, and let them know (gently, I hope) that THEY are responsible for the cleaning, not me, and that their best bet to get it done quickly is to get as many of the families under them to come as possible. I also tell them that if they (the head family) cannot do it that week, THEY can trade with another head family, but it is their responsibility. I also tell them that if one of the families under them can't come, it is that family's responsibility to trade with someone else. Like I said, it isn't a suggestion, a plea, or a request, it's an assignment that they can't get out of.

I then call them a couple of times in the duration leading up to the cleaning, and ask "How has it gone with the other families?". It helps them remember, and lets them know that someone is, indeed, checking up on them.

Now, the secrets of creating "The List": All of the head families are assigned from a group of families that are very responsible. As for the rest of the ward, they are divided into three groups: "They probably will come", "we don't know", and "they probably won't come". Each week's assignment is created of a mix of all of those three groups. Those people also include less active and inactive members, give them an opportunity to sacrifice and earn blessings as well. We have people who WILL NOT come to church, but will come EVERY TIME to clean the building.

So, as a recap: Make a good list, and make it the people's responsibility to perform the calling and work. You are the coordinator, not the janitor. I got lazy once, early on, didn't call anyone, and ended up cleaning the entire building by myself. I learned my lesson with that, and it won't happen ANY MORE. In fact, last month, a head family seemed to have just "forgotten" to do anything, so I kept calling all day long, and finally got ahold of them at about 10:30 at night, and asked if they had forgotten about cleaning the meetinghouse. :lol: They hustled their entire family over, and got it cleaned nicely!

Our stake president is very picky about the appearance of the building. If he shows up on Sunday at 6:00 AM and the building isn't clean, HE will clean it himself. Needless to say, that does NOT look good for the coordinator in charge. One Sunday, I showed up to unlock and turn on lights, and the cleaners (a different ward) hadn't set anything up. He looked right at me, and asked "ClickyClack, was yesterday your week to clean?" When folks really drag their heels at cleaning, I casually relate that to them... I think that a lot of people don't realize how dirty the building can get, or that people DO notice...

Now, one reason why *some* people don't clean: A lot of the older members grew up with the program where a paid janitor cleaned the meetinghouse, and they still aren't even aware that it is now the members' (and their) responsibility.

BTW, you have more responsibilities than just the cleaning (and locking up). You may already be aware of that, but when I was called, I wasn't aware of them for some time.

Another method that I've implemented is creating a sheet with all of the jobs, listed on "pull-off" tabs (like signs on the street) that the head family can pull off and hand out to those who come, to get them rolling faster. I also show up a little bit early and get out all of the cleaning supplies, so that the cleaners can just jump in and start. With a good crew, we can knock out the entire building in as little as 20 minutes.

Edited by ClickyClack, 10 June 2012 - 07:41 PM.


#13 ClickyClack

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 07:30 PM

I was told it was my responsibility to find a replacement. I told the then EQ President he was wrong, that it was NOT my responsibility, as I had not volunteered in the first place.


The Kingdom of God is not a democracy, it's a monarchy. You can be assigned the responsibility without volunteering for it. Your bishop is given priesthood authority over his ward, and has the authority to do such. Your bishop is not pulling this out of the air, it has been church policy for some time. :animatedthumbsup:

Now that they are aware that you work on Saturdays, however, I would expect them to make some sort of adjustment to the schedule.

Edited by ClickyClack, 10 June 2012 - 07:37 PM.


#14 MasterOrator

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 07:34 PM

Tell them they won't go to Heaven if they don't clean the building. :lol:
One cannot help wondering how many of those drops of precious blood each of us may be responsible for.
James E. Faust

#15 Still_Small_Voice

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:01 PM

Thanks for all the responses from everyone. I do show up almost every Saturday when it is our month (since it is only 1 out of 3 months). If no one else shows I will only clean for 1.25 hours and leave.

My system is I assign the Elder's Quorum, High Priests, Aaronic Priesthood, Relief Society one week each. They are to find seven people to clean on Saturdays (or any other day, I will open the church for them).

If no one shows up and the Bishop asks why I will tell him because no one showed up. The Bishop does not consider it my responsibility to do all the cleaning, only to coordinate it.

For if ye love only them which love you what reward have you?" -- Matthew 5:46 Inspired Version (changed to verse 48)

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." -- John 13:35

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#16 HEthePrimate

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

SSV, you're probably not alone in having difficulty getting enough people to show up. In my ward, they pass around a signup sheet in priesthood meeting. Sometimes they make assignments, and inform people they are to supposed to clean, and if they can't make it, to arrange a substitute. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't, but when I've gone to clean, they usually had several people show up, and the work took no more than an hour. Maybe you could push the idea that "many hands make light work," because it's really true.

Often people bring their families for these cleaning assignments, which can be fun. One time I cleaned the men's room, and after finishing that, got a lighter duty job of cleaning blackboards in the classrooms. The two little daughters of a friend of mine decided to "help" me with the blackboards. It actually took longer than it would have had I been working on my own, but it was pretty fun working with the kids! I always had to clean the top part of the blackboard, because they couldn't reach it! LOL
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