Virtually every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is given an opportunity to offer service in their ward. In a church with lay leadership, the work of the individual congregations depends wholly on the volunteer efforts of the local members.

Members are invited or “called” by the leadership of the ward or stake to serve in a specific responsibility. Each call is perceived to come by inspiration of the leaders and offers the individual the right to accept or decline the service option.

Most callings or assignments are accepted, sometimes with an extra measure of faith to be able to fulfill the needs of callings that may or may not lie within one’s skills or experience. The term of service is usually indefinite; some responsibilities extend for a number of years while others last only months. 

infographic lay leadership

Wards have an average membership of around 400 people, with about 200 people needed to maintain the ward organization. The bishop serves as the head of each ward, along with a pair of counselors, an executive secretary and clerks for finances and membership. Other men head up the priesthood quorums of various ages, while women lead in the Relief Society, the Young Women and the Primary.

In addition to their Sunday callings, most adults also serve as home and visiting teachers, a task that encourages a monthly visit and the delivery of a spiritual message to assigned members of the ward. Some people spend 3-4 hours a week on their Church responsibilities, while some with greater responsibilities spend as much as 20-30 hours a week. Such service blends in to the personal daily time commitments to family, work and community responsibilities.

You can read personal stories of various Church members around the world at Mormon Newsroom.