Within the past few months, there has been a substantial net increase in the number of wards and branches worldwide. The number of congregations has increased by nearly 100 within the past three months; a significant development considering the Church reported only modest annual increases in the number of congregations worldwide that ranged between 124 and 315 since 2008. If these congregational growth rates continue for the remainder of 2014, there may be a net increase of 400 or more congregations for the year, which would be the highest net increase experienced by the Church since 2005.
It is still to early to tell whether this acceleration in congregational growth is attributed to the surge in the number of missionaries serving worldwide and if these new growth trends will be sustained for the long-term. However, the opening of additional locations to missionary work (such as in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the Philippines) and the implementation of church-planting rather than church-splitting tactics in many areas of the world appear largely responsible for these improvements in congregational growth trends.