Friday, January 22, 2016

Updated Full-Time Missionary Figures

A recent article in the Deseret News reported that the number of full-time missionaries serving has decreased to 75,000. This indicates that the full-time missionary force has decreased by 10,000 (12%) within the past year as Church reported 85,147 missionaries at year-end 2014. Church leaders initially speculated that the full-time missionary force would decrease into the high 70,000s following the end of the double cohort of missionaries that resulted from the reduced age of missionary service. A larger decrease in the number of full-time missionaries than expected suggests that the Church may be struggling with consistently increasing the number of members serving full-time missions despite the reduced age for missionary service. Fewer missionaries serving than expected has also likely delayed the organization of additional missions as plans for only three new missions have announced for 2016. However, this most recent figure of 75,000 full-time missionaries may indicate an end of the double-cohort surge that temporarily raised the number of missionaries serving to approximately 90,000 in late 2014.

Church leaders nonetheless remain optimistic that the number of full-time missionaries serving will increase in the near future. LDS apostle Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speculated in early 2015 that the Church may reach 100,000 full-time missionaries serving by 2019. If correct, this increase would indicate significant growth and progress increasing the percentage of young adults in the international church who serve full-time missions.

As for my prediction, it is my opinion that we will likely see a return to steady increases in the number of full-time missionaries serving comparable to the early 2010s. The Church appears likely to exceed 80,000 missionaries within the next one to two years and 90,000 missionaries by 2021. The Church may focus on greater redistribution of mission resources in the near future from less productive to more productive or recently opened areas of the world, such as in Africa and Asia.


Grant Emery said...

I just looked at the blueprints for the new chapel they are building in Lyon, France, which will be the new home of the Confluence and Porte des Alpes Wards. It looks like the Church is using several new ideas with this building. It is 5 stories tall, not counting the attic or the two levels of underground parking (with car elevator!). It appears that they'll be combining more than just two wards into the building, though. In addition to the two bishops' offices and the single clerk office, there are also the (institute?) director's and secretary's offices, as well as four additional offices on the top floor, which makes me think that the France Lyon Mission offices will be located there.

Mostly, I think it a good idea to move the mission offices into a church. After Elder Perry announced that we would try to keep our churches open more often for passersby, I wondered how they would manage that with a lay clergy. If they decide to have both institute and mission offices in the Church, chances are something will almost always be happening there. Does anyone know of this solution happening elsewhere? I'm aware of temples being combined with other functions, but not as much mission homes (other than Hong Kong).

Grant Emery said...

Continuing the subject of France (because that's how I roll) ...

I know the best measure for real growth is the increase in units. And France has not increased in wards much over the past several years. However, I just noticed how many chapels are being built in France right now, mostly replacing rented spaces:
- Valence (just completed)
- Lyon (to be completed 2016 for Confluence and Portes des Alpes Wards)
- Brive la Gaillard (to be completed 2016)
- Mantes la Jolie (to be completed 2017)
- expansion of Clermont Ferrand church (to be completed 2016)
- Grenoble (completion TBA)
Considering there are only about 110 wards/branches in France, that seems like a lot of construction (and that isn't counting, of course, the Paris Temple, to be completed in 2016/2017). I know that this doesn't necessarily mean the splitting of units, but the Church has some standards, I'm sure, for what is required to build a church. Maybe this is the precursor for a season of ward-splitting in 5-10 years in France.

MainTour said...

What was the number of full-time missionaries serving when they announced the age change?

Joseph said...

Unit Update
Bocana Branch, Managua Nicaragua Tipitapa District (B:5)
Herriman Rose 3rd Ward, Riverton Utah Western Springs Stake(W:9)
Kalmia Branch (Tongan), Moreno Valley California Stake (B:1, W:7) 4 Participating S
Kensington Ward, Johannesburg South Africa Stake (B:1, W:8)
Red Deer 4th Branch (Spanish), Red Deer Alberta Stake (B:4, W:7)
Seminole 2nd Ward, St Petersburg Florida Stake (B:2, W:6)
Valle del Norte Branch (Spanish), Albuquerque New Mexico North Stake (B:1, W:6)

YTD 27(9/week*3) +7 (Net 0) - Total 34,215(+5)
Africa 2, 7.4% (+1) - Total 1772 (+1)
Asia 1, 3.7% (0) - Total 932 (0)
America Central 1, 3.7% (+1) - Total 3922 (+1)
America North 17, 63.0% (+4) - Total 9344 (+2)
America South 2, 7.4% (+2) - Total 6346 (-1)
Europe 0, 0% (0) - Total 1716 (0)
Pacific 0, 0% (0) - Total 2731 (+1)
Utah & Idaho 4(4), 14.8(14.8)% (+1) - Total 6912(5704)(+1)

Totals no-sensitive (Net 7)
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 149 418 3,176 546 22,574 7,352 34,240
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,602 10 12,583 2,060 16,477
US n/a 73 124 1,554 7 12,246 1,911 15,915
Utah n/a 15 10 580 1 4,704 326 5,636
Canada n/a 8 7 48 3 337 149 552
Out 15 68 287 1,574 536 9,991 5,292 17,763

Michael Worley said...

MainTour-- about 58,000, I believe.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the Midland Michigan Stake the seminary/institute director for that stake as well as a neighboring stake and a district has his office in the stake center.

John Pack Lambert said...

I remember President Monson giving a talk in Priesthood Meeting where he talked about negative reactions to a branch in the Canadian Mission meeting in rented space in the Elks Hall. The leaders of the Church have tried to where possible move to permanent buildings quite heavily since the 1950s.

While I hope these new buildings mean wards splitting in France, they may just indicate that the units in France are large enough to be gauranteed as permanent.

Grant Emery said...

But that's the point: they start out as questionable in terms of permanence, then become permanent, then split. It hopefully indicates some sort of growth.

Interestingly, I know a case study in suggests that church-built churches don't necessarily help units grow more. Sometimes the comfort helps people stop trying or even stop attending.

jim bob said...

Thank you Joseph for the great statistics! I forget, what does the number in the parenthesis represent again?

Michael Worley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Worley said...

If April Conference reveals a number close to 75,000, I'm willing to project 81,000-82,000 missionaries at the end of this year. I am not able to predict past this year, but it looks like my projection for this year will put us well on pace to hit 90,000-100,000 by the end of 2019.

Alex Compton said...

Grant, the Singapore Mission offices are located upstairs from one chapel. Also, the same parking area is shared by a five (?) story stage center. Pretty sure seminary/institute meet in one of those buildings as well.

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

So I guess then only about 60% of active YM are going on missions. I was told a few years ago that if every active seminary graduating YM would go on a mission then we would have about 115 to 120,000 out at any given time. Lots of work still do with our youth.

Rsouthwest said...

Announced today a new Stake in the Dallas, Texas area will be made in two weeks, from parts of the Dallas and Carrollton Stakes.

Michael Worley said...

Are we on track for the most # of stakes created in Jan.+Feb., if there really are 7 scheduled to be created by 2/7? What is the record for this?

Michael Worley said...

new stake created today in Ridgefield, WA from two stakes in the Vancouver area (I think)

Mike Johnson said...

Ridgefield Ward is in the Vancouver Washington West State, which probably means that is one of the stakes involved.

Michael Worley said...

Yes, I agree that Vancouver West was involved.

Matt said...


The Church organized nine stakes during the month of January in 1998 and 11 stakes during the month of January in 1995. The number of new stakes created in January 2016 appears likely to be the most seen by the Church since 1998.

mrcuff said...

When I checked I noticed that they did not move the Horizon Ridge Ward to the Black Mountain Stake from the Anthem Stake in Henderson Nevada. When the Black Mountain Stake divided last month, they acquired that Ward from the neighboring stake.

Adam Lambert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Iris and Craig,

Any word in the creation of a second stake in the Ipswich area?

Michael Worley said...

LDS Church Temples is also reporting a new stake in Brazil. Making, if all reported are confirmed, 8 new stakes in the first 4 weeks of the year-- and 5 this past Sunday.

Iris and Craig said...

@Matt-I think you got the wrong contact. I'm your Rexburg-Oklahoma-Mexico City-Vietnam-Ohio Amish guy, lol. XD

Eduardo Clinch said...

Wow, Craig. You got me thinking!

Not all seminary graduates are willing or able to serve full-time missions. I don't know how many YM/YW who are qualified to go do not go because of their own choice, but their are quite a few who cannot go for physical, mental, social, and spiritual reasons. But I wish we could send more, true.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Wow, Craig. You got me thinking!

Not all seminary graduates are willing or able to serve full-time missions. I don't know how many YM/YW who are qualified to go do not go because of their own choice, but their are quite a few who cannot go for physical, mental, social, and spiritual reasons. But I wish we could send more, true.

Ryan Searcy said...

Wow, so far, January will produce a net gain of 9 stakes! Most of them in the U.S.

-1 Salt Lake Sugar House
0 San Antonio Texas Cibolo Valley
+1 Vero Beach Florida
+2 Barranca Peru*
+3 El Paso Texas Chamizal
+4 Maceio Brazil Colina*
+5 Ridgefield Washington
+6 Palermo Honduras*
+7 San Antonio Texas La Cantera*
+8 Mesa Arizona**
+9 Rio Verde Brazil**

Ryan Searcy said...

Lots of mission branches in the Americas either being added to nearby stakes and districts, or being discontinued, and the area absorbed by a neighboring stake or district. Either way, more and more land is becoming part of a stake or district, and not just under the mission.