Thursday, September 25, 2014

Clear and Convincing Progress in the Philippines Reversing Stagnant LDS Growth

There have been many recent LDS growth developments in the Philippines that indicate the Church has taken a significant turn in achieving "real growth." Some of these developments include:
  • A net increase of 26 congregations (21 wards and 5 branches) so far in 2014. This is the largest increase in congregations in a single year for the Philippines since 2001.
  • The creation of 12 new stakes since 2010. The last time as many new stakes were created in as short of a time period in the Philippines was from 1999 to 2001.
  • The opening of member groups in dozens of lesser-reached or previously unreached locations within the past few years.
  • The number of full-time missionaries assigned to the Philippines increases from 2,600 in early 2013 to 4,300 in early 2014. 
  • The number of Filipino members serving full-time missions reaching 2,425 at year-end 2013. 
  • Significant improvements in various activity measurements, such as sacrament meeting attendance and the number of temple recommend holders.
With membership recently surpassing 700,000 members and the total number of stakes nearing 100 (92 at present), the Church has significant opportunities for growth in the near future due to increasing numbers of missionaries serving, focus on higher baptismal standards and member-missionary participation, and the opening of member groups and branches in additional locations. All this recent progress has occurred despite no increase in the number of converts baptized between 2010 and 2013. Many districts appear likely to become stakes within the next year or two. Also, the Church may announced new temples in additional cities due to recent growth, such as Bacolod, Davao (instead of Cagayan de Oro), and Naga.

Click here to access a case study I wrote for on recent LDS growth developments in the Philippines. This case study article was written last April.

The LDS International Atlas page for the Philippines can be found here, and the statistical profile for the Philippines can be found here.


James Anderson said...

A broadcast by the Philippines Area Presidency detailing even more of what is going on there.

Mike Johnson said...

The Davao Philippines West Stake was created on 14 September. There are 5 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Ladian Branch
Tamugan Branch
Calinan Ward
Mintal 1st Ward
Mintal 2nd Ward
Toril 1st Ward
Toril 2nd Ward

The Pratagy Ward, Maceió Brazil Tabuleiro Stake, was created on 14 September. There are now 6 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Benedito Bentes Ward
Campo dos Palmares Ward
Gurguri Ward
Pratagy Ward
Tabuleiro Ward
Universitário Ward
Rio Largo Branch

Iris and Craig said...

My bro-in-law is in Veracruz Mexico on a mission, right now in the offices, so he wrote us today and told us how the Area Presidency changed the rules to where they can't contact in the street or knock doors anymore. That it has to be all active/inactive member work/referrals now.


Pascal said...

Interestingly, most European Missions have actually officially abandoned dooring as a finding method a few years ago. I remember dooring perhaps five hours of my entire Mission, and that was in Switzerland...and it only happened "for fun" ever once in a while, or, on one or two occasions, when appointments had fallen out last minute in a far away place (we just wanted to make sure that our traveling time wasn`t entirely wasted). To be quite frank, I`ve enjoyed dooring when I did it, but if you are trying you can definitely fill your time doing more efficient things even in a comparably unproductive area. And of course, street contacting is still going to happen along the way. The new rule probably just means that there will no longer be any street contacting blocks inserted at daily and weekly planning. Which I find is a brilliant idea for about any Mission I could think of, except for some parts of North America where there`s no one on the street and Missionaries often don`t use public transportation.

James Anderson said...

Even in Salt Lake where they have all kinds of things going on, there are loads of opportunities for street contacting, although tracting is never seen here either, crazy thing is that I never see missionaries using buses or trains here (as it is, many longer bus rountes and the train lines cover multiple missions).

But one day I saw something different. This was the day the guy barged into the West Valley City police HQ which is right by a train station. After the officers had got everyone done pussyfooting around the crime scene to get from bus waiting areas to the train platform, I found two missionaries buying a train ticket.

I got on the train, they did too, it was headed towards Downtown and that is where they were headed for some reason. After they got near the driver cab end of the car, I got in the lower middle area, and almost immediately proceeded to go to work and right off gave away a pass-along card. I'm sure they saw it.

Their reaction? Do nothing. I saw easily 20 people get on that train before it crossed I-15 to turn into the main line to head into Downtown, got off the next station I think, and still nothing from them as to working the car to try to find contacts either for themselves or other missionaries.

Adam said...

That's nice to see that Mexico is going to be applying that. There is so much low-hanging fruit of less-active members that are just waiting to be picked. When they first applied that in the Philippines missionaries got the impression that they weren't allowed to talk to anyone unless it was through reactivating, but was later understood that you should certainly focus on less-actives but that doesn't mean you aren't allowed to talk to anyone. Hopefully that is what is going on Mexico, a focus on less-actives but still talking to people while traveling to appointments.

Iris and Craig said...

I agree. When I was in Mexico City, first of all we hardly ever knocked doors for my two years, not because we couldn't, but because we were so busy with referrals and member help/less actives. We only did knock for fun, like was mentioned or if an appointment fell through, just for the heck of it.

I actually love the idea implemented because my "secret of success" in the mission came from taking the ward roster and killing three birds with one stone. Updating the roster of a 13 page long list of only about 40 people active. We'd find out that people had moved, died etc. And then reactive and baptize part-member families which got the ward hyped up and excited for missionary work, seeing old friends again come back to the ward etc.

I loved it, and in the far future when I go back to the mission with my wife, I'll definitely be doing this approach again.

Ed Clinch said...

The Cumorah country report from Chile seems to be as of 2010, which obviously is pre-mission age lowering change of 2012. The latest Ensign (OCT14) may be based off of the stat that the country only has 9 missions, but it now has ten.

There are four in Santiago: North, East, West, and newly revived South. The Santiago South mission, as reconstituted, seems to be one of the smallest in the world, with quite a concentration of members in an area walkable in one day.

South of the capital is the not too far distant Rancagua Mission (former Santiago South), Concepcion, Concepcion South and Osorno. Going west and north are Vina del Mar and Antofogasta.

While unit numbers are low compared to the rolls of baptized which is high, actual membership is still hanging in there. They should have a few more temples by simple geography in another decade. The constant renewal of new missionaries with mixed or less active families presents a lot of interesting opportunities. There are 20 and 30 year-olds whose parents and grandparents were baptized long ago; I always hope some of those 3rd and 4th and even 5th generation Chileans will be touched in the present by decisions, albeit not as enduring as hoped by the baptizers, by their older family members. I hope their secular searches for their family history bring up the fact that they once joined the faith, and that may help them enter or re-enter into the fold.

The rest of Latin America is certainly growing churchwise, but the southern cone has seen some unit attrition for sure. Notwithstanding, Argentina and Uruguay are supporting temples and work does continue to progress and further entrench itself in these cultures.

Michael Worley said...

The San Ysidro California ward, Chula Vista California Stake was created on Sept. 28. There are now 10 units in that stake:

Chula Vista 1st Ward
Chula Vista 2nd Ward
Chula Vista 3rd Ward
Chula Vista 4th Ward (Spanish)
Chula Vista YSA Ward (also know as the 5th Ward)
Imperial Beach Ward
Otay Lakes Ward
Otay Mesa Ward
Otay River Ward (Spanish)
San Ysidro Ward (Spanish)

Local reports indicate another Spanish unit will be created after Conferencew

Mike Johnson said...

The Alpine SA Ward, Alpine Utah North Stake, was created on 28 September. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Alpine 1st Ward
Alpine 2nd Ward
Alpine 7th Ward
Alpine 8th Ward
Alpine Cove Ward
Alpine SA Ward
Deerfield Ward
Hillside Ward
Moyle Park Ward

The Altisima Ward, Santa Margarita California Stake, was created on 28 September. There are now 8 wards in the stake:

Aliso Creek Ward
Altisima Ward
Foothill Ranch Ward
Lake Forest Ward
Live Oak Canyon Ward
Mission Lake Ward
Santa Margarita Ward
Tijeras Canyon Ward

The Aguas Negras Branch, Belém Brazil Icoaraci Stake, was created on 28 September. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Agulha Ward
Augusto Montenegro Ward
Icoaraci Ward
Outeiro Ward
Paracurí Ward
Satélite Ward
Tapajós Ward
Tenoné Ward
Aguas Negras Branch