Sunday, October 4, 2015

Missionary Work is All About Multiplication

By Rodger Dean Duncan

Four years ago this week I had an "unscheduled outage"  major heart surgery to replace three blocked arteries. Mercifully, I did not have a heart attack. My heart is very healthy and strong. But without the surgery, which was not at all planned, I likely wouldn't be here today.

It was during recuperation from surgery that I wrote CHANGE-friendly LEADERSHIP. I'd thought about the book for years, but my heavy consulting load kept me away from the keyboard. Several weeks of post-surgery travel restriction provided just the pump primer (no pun intended) to get the book project on a path to completion.

It's always a pleasure to spend a couple of days with a roomful of nice
people. These leaders from Baylor Scott & White are very sharp.
What Rean and I didn't know at the time is that (a) the book would turn out to be very popular, and (b) it would be an excellent tool for our missionary work. (At that time a full-time mission wasn't even on our radar.)

This past week I did another pro bono leadership workshop based on the content of the book. This workshop was for leaders of Baylor Scott & White, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas. It includes 49 hospitals, more than 800 patient care sites, 5,800 physicians and 38,000 employees. These folks have more than 5.3 million patient encounters each year. So helping them improve their effectiveness can have far-reaching implications.

Missionary work is all about multiplication, touching the lives of relatively small numbers of people who then "pass along" what they've learned to many, many more. We readily acknowledge that our ever-generous God has given us a multitude of gifts. We're now trying to share those gifts in ways that will bless others among His children. ("Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:40)

Brian O'Grady is a Baylor Scott & White vice president. We
loved spending an evening with him and his beautiful family.
A delicious dinner was hosted by our dear friends David and
Sheryl Gleason.
I loved doing the workshop, and took every opportunity to mention how the leadership principles I teach are gospel-based. The two-day workshop enabled me to make some good friends for the Church. In fact, on Friday evening Rean and I had dinner with one of the Baylor Scott & White vice presidents and his beautiful family. We think there's a chance they will attend a fireside we're doing next Sunday evening.

Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson,
and Elder Renlund.
New Apostles!

At this weekend's General Conference, we were pleased to sustain three new apostles in our Church. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, and Elder Dale G. Renlund were called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to fill vacancies resulting from the recent deaths of Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry and Richard G. Scott. It is such a comfort to know that the Lord's true Church has been restored to the earth, along with the authentic priesthood. No politicking, no jockeying for position, no self-promotion. These men, all with marvelous secular credentials, will set aside all worldly pursuits and devote the rest of their lives to the Lord's work.

Waco's original LDS Chapel where I attended
church during all my years at Baylor University.
Bishop Hoppie is on the far right.
Down Memory Lane

Our Missionary District Meeting this week was held at the old Latter-day Saint chapel on Viking Drive in Waco. I say "old" because it is now the oldest LDS building in Waco. But it is not the first. As mentioned in one of our early blog posts, Waco's first LDS building was dedicated about a decade before I enrolled at Baylor University here in 1962. That structure is now home to the Boys and Girls Club of Waco.

While at the Viking Building this week we noticed a display case containing historical documents related to the dedication of the original LDS chapel here. It seems a bit like ancient history now, but I recognized some of the people in the photos. One was Roy Durlin Hoppie who served as my bishop during all four of my years at Baylor. I had been a member of the Church for only five weeks when I first arrived at Baylor. Bishop Hoppie was a marvelous coach and mentor to me and taught me some critically important principles and practices that have served me well for the past fifty-plus years.

5 Leadership Lessons from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 

More than a year ago I wrote a piece for Forbes magazine entitled "5 Leadership Lessons from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir." It's still getting online views, especially around General Conference time. Click here to see it.

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