Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Most Thorough Analysis of LDS Growth in Cote d'Ivoire Ever Conducted

I know the title of this post may sound a bit boastful, but I have worked for the past five months on this extensive analysis of LDS growth in the West African nation of Cote d'Ivoire. Read the case study here. Comments, feedback, and discussion would be appreciated!

18 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

Looking at the temple map of Ivory Coast is cool. What is really exciting to me is that it is happening in the French language. I think thousands of missionaries in France and Europe have had their effect back in Africa.

It would be great to see Martinique and Guadeloupe grow with the Gospel, we need more French growth across the world. The Indian Ocean islands, too.

John Pack Lambert said...

I wish the Church would release of list of where groups operate. I can see why this might be hard, since some groups are literally just one family off by itself. I hope we see continued growth at the same rate in Ivory Coast.

Any word on any developments towards the announced temple?

John Pack Lambert said...

Apparently a new stake was organized in St. George back on last Sunday. I believe this is the first new stake organized in Utah outside of Utah County so far this year.

Mike Johnson said...

John, I hear you about the groups. I too wish we had a list. Groups can be created by stake or mission presidents without reference to Salt Lake. Members are officially part of a branch or ward. Salt Lake likely has no record of them.

Almost every US Navy ship has an LDS group on board when they deploy. I have been part of several. In all cases I have known, the group leader was set apart by a stake president where the ship is home ported (such as Jacksonville FL or San Diego CA).

We had an American Sign Language group in my current ward a few years ago, with members coming from stakes north and south. They met in Sacrament Meeting with us with a translator in front of them, but had their own 2nd and 3rd hour class.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I was part of establishing a group a few years ago. We were told that church unit numbers are needed for groups that meet in rented buildings (insurance reasons), but are not needed for groups that operate in members homes. So Salt Lake would have records of at least some of the groups operating right now.

Mike Johnson said...

Inside stakes, groups officially belong to wards or branches. The standards for being a branch in a stake are higher than for a branch in a mission, but even then by the time a group is large enough to become a branch, it likely is still small enough to meet in a house or on some other property not maintained by the Church exclusively for Church services--for example groups in the military often meet in military own property.

I have been part of branches with 100 people in attendance meeting in a house with sound broadcast into every room in the house and people also meeting also in the garage and out in the drive way. I suspect long before a group needs dedicated church facilitates they will meet standards to become a branch, even in stakes.

It is common in various countries, including Cote d'Ivoire, to see districts with several branches tightly clustered in one or two small areas surrounded by a much larger (in area) district administrative branch surrounding those regularly established branches. Some of the branches meet in buildings used for church, but many are in houses or schools or some other facility not maintained by the Church. Any groups inside the administrative branch would likely be smaller than the branches and likely meet in a house or a school or some other facility not normally used for church services. I find myself wishing I knew what these groups were. I just don't think there is any centralized list of them and they probably are established or disestablished too fast for any list if it does exist to be accurate.

L. Chris Jones said...

My former ward in Idaho Falls had a sign language group attached to it. They came from several stakes throughout the region.

L. Chris Jones said...

It is a traditional ward ward but has the sing language group asigned to it. They have interpreters in sacrament meeting. The rest of the block they meet on their own for Sunday School, Priesthood, and relief society, except for the fifth Sunday we all meet together.

Matt said...

I believe most groups are listed in CDOL. I have noticed that some new branches created from groups are briefly called groups on LDS.org/maps. However, only leaders with higher qualifications can view this information.

L. Chris Jones said...

It is a traditional ward ward but has the sing language group asigned to it. They have interpreters in sacrament meeting. The rest of the block they meet on their own for Sunday School, Priesthood, and relief society, except for the fifth Sunday we all meet together.

J S A said...

Fort Worth Texas North Stake

Fossil Ridge Ward (246859)
Highland Station Ward (464465)
Hurst 3rd Ward (Spanish) (464732)
Park Glen 1st Ward (267082)
Park Glen 2nd Ward (464562)
Saginaw Ward (38350)

J S A said...

North Shore Massachusetts Stake

Lynn Branch (Spanish) (199052)
Billerica Ward (43060)
Lawrence Ward (Spanish) (209228)
Lynnfield Ward (43214)
Methuen Ward (184489)
Revere 1st Ward (Spanish) (246395)
Revere 2nd Ward (212156)

J S A said...

St George Utah Crimson Ridge Stake

Cottonwood Ward (2059037)
Desert Edge Ward (2074591)
Mulberry Ward (2038110)
Silkwood Ward (1980823)
Sycamore Ward (2014262)

Mike Johnson said...

I haven't had access to CDOL for the past 2 years, but I did for several years before that. I could never find groups and it did not have the ASL group then in our ward.

Matt said...

The time that stands out to me when I saw a group on lds.org/maps was when the Hrazdan Branch became a branch in Armenia. The branch was called the Hrazdan Group for the first day or so after it became visible on lds.org/maps. Also, I believe that several branches in the Sepik River Papua New Guinea District that were discontinued earlier this year became groups as the boundaries for these branches were visible for a week or two after the branches were discontinued. Perhaps member groups under the supervision of mission presidents are visible in CDOL, whereas member groups under stake supervision are not?

Mike Johnson said...

Good question, Matt. I don't know. This is one of the reasons I wish I still had access to CDOL. But, in truth, I prefer being a Gospel Doctrine teacher to being an executive secretary.

It often takes LDS maps time to catch up to changes. It is possible that those branches were discontinued as branches were continued as groups. Once branches in missions are created (which requires First Presidency approval), mission presidents can call release branch presidents on their own. As groups, they can be adjusted by the mission president, perhaps doing some divisions that would not have been as easy to do as branches.

John Pack Lambert said...

Are branch presidents in stakes called/released totally at stake president discretion?

Looking over LDS maps I noticed several meetinghouses in Ghana showing up way outside any non-administrative branch boundary. I am not sure if this is because the icons are off, or because the branch boundaries are off, or a combination of both.

Mike Johnson said...

Yes, John. Technically, the stake president is the nominating authority and high council the approving authority. On the other hand, stake presidents nominate bishops and the First Presidency approves--something that boggles my mind. Something like 23,000 wards and bishops are normally released after about 5 years. We must be talking about 5000 bishops a year or 100 a week.

Sometimes LDS maps gets off for some reason.