What I love about my church is that there are no ministers. There are no paid clergy. We all volunteer to take on a calling (not of our choosing, mind you) and the members at large run our church.
As part of this, the speakers on Sundays are members who get the old tap on the shoulder from the bishopric and are assigned a topic to speak on.
I have been back active at church 9 years now, and guess what? I have somehow flown under the radar and never been asked to do a talk! That's pretty amazing considering our small congregation. Of course that all came to an end this last week when I got "the call" and was asked to do a 15 minute talk at today's meeting.
If this call had come within the first year of me becoming active it probably would've sent me packing and I wouldn't have come back. If this call had come 4 years ago, I would've panicked and somehow gotten myself excused or faked sick or something, but the great thing about HAVING to be involved in church, is that when the call came, I said ok, and today I stood up and delivered my message without nerves, and felt confident.
The church has helped me grow. From being asked to teach to the very youngest members, to giving prayers at meetings, to teaching my peers, each step of the way it has helped me grow into a confident person who not only knows the teachings of the gospel, but can express it to an entire congregation with composure.
For that I am very thankful!