I was offered a change of position at work this week. Some co-workers congratulated me. It didn't strike me as odd, and I found myself congratulating others who had also received a recognition or promotion. I saw it as an appropriate gesture of recognition for their work and efforts.
Ironically this week there were a number of changes of position at Church. As the bishop extended new callings to my wife and I, many ward members and family members were, upon finding out, repeatedly saying "congratulations". As if the callings indicated some achievement. It seemed almost as if to say that as a result of faithful service one had "ascended" up the Church Organizational chart. Or even that you've ascended a rung closer to God. I do not see it this way and so felt very funny upon hearing congratulations in this context of a calling to serve in a new capacity. It suggests just how much of a business the Church has become both in practice and in the minds and culture we live in. Callings sometimes get viewed as an indicator of someones spirituality or perceived righteousness.
There's nothing wrong with supporting someone, or sustaining them in the capacity they have been called to serve. We're all supposed to do that. It just seems the higher up the Church Org Chart you are "called" the more praise and honor and congratulations others offer you. There is something amiss in that mindset although I can't totally put words to it. God's authority and power aren't gained in the same way and fashion one obtains earthly power and authority. There are undoubtedly status and power symbols in the Church related to callings. Therefore it makes sense there would be a draw for folks to seek after or aspire to various callings because there is power and social status associated to it.
But I find no examples in scripture that support that kind of culture. When someone is called by the Lord to do something, it more often than not brings upon them trouble, rejection, misunderstanding, judgement, etc...
I don't think callings in the Church were intended to heighten our pride, or give us increased sense of achievement and recognition among our fellow man.
That's just me though.