From September 1 until December 15, bishops and branch presidents are asked to meet with members of the Church for a tithing declaration interview. This is a yearly opportunity for families to meet with the bishop to discuss their payment of tithing. This is primarily a learning experience for children, youth, and adults to focus on the principles and blessings of tithing and our covenant relationship with Heavenly Father.
Below are some tips gathered from bishops and clerks on how to hold effective tithing settlement meetings:
Appointment Tear-off Sheet. The line-up at the bishop’s office can get out of hand as members try to juggle their calendar in order to write down the appointment. An article in Latter-day Life Hacker offers a downloadable tear-off sheet that allows members to quickly write down their name (for the bishop’s record) and tear of the slip (for the member’s record). Simple and neat.
Before the Appointment. In preparation for the appointment, ask members to review their donation history online at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/donations. On that site, members can see their donations, regardless of whether they paid online, directly to the ward, or to a previous ward. For those who don’t have online access, ask them to contact the finance clerk before the appointment to print their donation history.
Update Records. When members arrive for their appointment, the clerk should take the opportunity to review their membership records with them to make sure that recent ordinances have been recorded and that phone numbers and email addresses are up to date.
Take Photos. If the member doesn’t have a photo attached to his or her membership record, the clerk takes a photo and uploads it to the online directory. Having photos of all members helps leaders and other ward members get to know everyone.
Church Account Set-up. If the member doesn’t have an account on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, the clerk helps him or her set it up at account.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. The clerk demonstrates how the member can update his or her contact information if it changes.
Stay on Task. Stay on task for the purpose of tithing declaration. At the end of the scheduled appointment time, the clerk knocks on the door. If the bishop or the member wants more time to discuss other concerns, the executive secretary or clerk makes a follow-up appointment.
Appointments. The executive secretary reviews the Action and Interview List and sets up appointments for any interviews needed in the near future for ordinations or class advancements. He could also review the list of temple recommends and set up appointments for any that are about to expire.