Saturday, July 10, 2010

Likely Areas For Future Mission Outreach Expansion

I have always been fascinated with what areas do and do not have a Church presence. Expanding the Church's national outreach is a major responsibility that falls on local and regional Church leadership, but is something that initially begins with local members moving to unreached cities and sharing the Gospel with those around them. Unfortunately not only does the majority of the world's population live in locations without a Church presence, but the majority of the population in countries with an official Church presence also do not live in locations with congregations or missionaries nearby. We tend to concentrate on the opening of many small, sparsely population nations but many larger nations with have had an official Church presence for decades have tens of millions who remain without any LDS mission outreach, such as Indonesia, India, and Brazil.

The Church has had an exciting past couple years as many new cities have opened for missionary work and an acceleration of congregation and membership growth have occur in many nations which have large populations but a very limited Church presence. Based on recent growth trends and current reports from missionaries and Church leaders around the world, I have provided a list and map of likely areas in which we will see expanding mission outreach.


View Growth Hotspots in a larger map

5 comments:

churchgrowth said...

Matt,
It seems to me that there hasn't been as much stake and district growth this year as there was last year. Are we on pace with where we were last year? What about growth outside of Utah since most stake creations this year appear to be within Utah, does there appear to be a decline?

Matt said...

Congregational and stake growth appear close to what was experienced in 2008, which was slower than 2009. There are a lot of stakes close to dividing and great things going on, but I think that the massive mission realignment this summer has reduced the number of administrative changes for new congregations. I imagine things will pick up in the fall, but so far stake and district creations are way behind 2009 levels (but then again, 2009 was one of the strongest years for new stakes and districts). I personally would like to see a large increase in the number of congregations in many Latin American nations as this would indicate that convert retention rates have improved and leadership is more self sufficient. So far the only country which is showing somewhat of a larger increase or comparable increases to the past few years is Peru.

Matt said...

I would also like to add that accelerated congregational growth that began last year in Africa is continuing, but this year we have seen no increases or slight decrease in the number of units in Europe.

rfelsted said...

Matt,
Excellent analysis. Great to have all that information about church units in South America and Africa! Thanks for all your work.

rfelsted said...

Matt,
I didn't realize it earlier but your work includes all the continents and isles of the Pacific. Thanks very much for this big effort. It's a great reference source.