Friday, April 14, 2017

Countries with the Highest Members-to-Units Ratio: 2016 Figures

The members-to-units ratio is a statistic ascertained by dividing church-reported membership by the total number of congregations. Countries with high member-to-unit ratios invariably experience low member activity rates as there are an insufficient number of active members to create additional congregations.

Below is a list of the 24 countries and dependencies with the highest members-to-units ratios for 2016 (more than 600 members per unit). Forty-two percent (42%) of LDS membership in 2016 resided in these 24 countries. The 2013 list can be found here. The 2014 list can be found here.
  1. Chile - 973
  2. Nicaragua - 879
  3. Bolivia - 803
  4. Northern Mariana Islands - 786
  5. Ecuador - 785
  6. Peru - 772
  7. Colombia - 768
  8. El Salvador - 760
  9. Uruguay - 743
  10. Honduras - 733
  11. Panama - 732
  12. South Korea - 730
  13. Mexico - 703
  14. Dominican Republic - 680
  15. Venezuela - 678
  16. Paraguay - 671
  17. Brazil - 659
  18. Kiribati - 656
  19. Costa Rica - 633
  20. Guatemala - 622
  21. Philippines - 616
  22. Portugal - 609
  23. Guam - 608
  24. Hong Kong - 607

34 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

Leadership in Chile can be difficult, like anywhere, but I guess particularly when so many people are joining and often times the core active members may seem over burdened. I saw some class differences too, which is an unfortunate byproduct of hundreds of years of a relatively stable culture where some more moderate earners would resent wealthier priesthood leaders, even LDS Church employees in the Educational System or other facilities management-type positions.
The number one reason for inactivity was pure laziness, but it can be very challenging to attend in the winter where it rained for many days (people mostly walk) or the chapels were so cold that everyone kept their winter beanie caps, gloves, scarves and ear muffs on trying to stay warm during services.
I have blogged about my missionary time of trying to help branch counselors in a new branch become the local leaders, some trying bouts with their activity and "apostasy", but after reviewing my dealings with Happy Dane I realize I could have been part of some of those problems of proper development of those men.
I guess some consolation is that the original Church of Christ became twisted and failed on multiple continents over Christian history, so we and I are not the only evangelizers of Jesus to face such issues.
No one is perfect, but the organization moves along.
One sister in Santa Juana, my third area and where the counselors struggled to stay faithful, chose to be baptized before moving with her small child to another town. I wonder if she ever remained active, or possibly became one of the 973 menbers on the rolls per unit as we see topping this list.
Who knows? Maybe Jovita and her little son Jonathan went on to be stalwort members?
Maybe some elders or sisters are eating at their house as I blog.
Prayers for past friends and converts; never a wasteful exercise in my view.
Prayers for the Chilean Saints who struggle to attend.

BYULAW said...

An idea I had on my mission in Argentina was for some wards to have a bus that could be used to pick up members at their homes each Sunday morning and then bring them home after church. Linger-longer activities could be arranged for after the block before the members are driven home. At the time I had a long list of reasons this would benefit members. Some that I remember include members not having to pay to ride the bus to and from church each Sunday, members would be less likely to do their grocery shopping on Sunday when they rode the bus into town because for many they only came into town on Sunday for church and would go shopping after so they wouldn't have to pay to come to town a different day and shop. Members with physical ailments the prevented them from walking far distances to a bus stop could get picked up at their home. Rainy days would be less of an issue, because people wouldn't have to brave bad weather to walk to church. Peer pressure that you knew the bus was coming to your house each Sunday might incentivize people to come. Member activity rates might rise. Overall, the only disadvantage I could see was if members abused the bus privilege and used it for non-intended uses, or if it was an area of high theft they could be stolen. But, in some areas I think it would work very well.

Eduardo Clinch said...

BYU Ley: really good points. Many of the same principles apply to temple attendance, especially cost. Of course, temple worthiness and readiness is largely predicated on regular Sabbath day worship and duties which we are addressing.
Thanks for the reflections.
I suppose that places like Cote d' Ivoire and other lands of dynamic growth are dealing with these logistical issues better, among other things like priesthood training and development. And baptismal standards, regular attendance maintainance, home teaching and overall retention.
Elder Holland spent 2 years there trying to fuse stskes and wards to get them manageable.
Again, a second temple in this country should do worlds of good. For so many reasons.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I noticed that Argentina is not listed in the top 20 members per unit. That is really good to see.
I like to ask missionaries that served in Argentina if they tought and baptized many Chileans, and many over the years responded that that was the case.
Hopefully Chilean converts in Argentina are more actice there than they tend to be in their home country.
Argentina seems to be an outlier in South America when it comes to smaller membership per unit, which I take to be a positive indicator.
I wonder what countries have the smallest numbers per unit?Montenegro only has a total of twenty something members so far; it will be interesting to see how fast possible other branches will grow there.
Hopefully faster than Poland or Czechia, or even other Balkan nations.
I have had good experience working with Montenegrins; I hope that continue to flourish.

John Pack Lambert said...

I knew someone ago served much of his mission on the Navajo Reservation and they were evidently told not to help investigators find rides to Church and only people who could get to Church on their own should be baptized. On my mission we were always coordinating rides to Church. Sometimes I am not sure why. I remember one of the things that made me like my girlfriend early on was she rode her bike to Church when she didnt have a car. True it is only a little over a mile but still.In many of my wards on my mission that was the distance to travel.

On the other hand in my home ward just about a year and a half ago a set of them13 year old twins were baptized. They are still active and as long as one of elieves the gift of the Holy Host is real one has to accept they are better off as baptized members. So I can not see a rule dont baptize those who cant get to Church in their own being justified.

Bryan Dorman said...

District created today in El Seco, Puebla, Mexico.

Puebla Mexico Citlaltepetl District

Serdan
Libres
Citlaltepetl (in El Seco)
Tecamachalco
New branches:
Tlachichuca (from Serdan)
Grajales (from Libres)

R. Jofre said...

I would say 90% of chilean inactives were never converts. Just quick baptisms that lots of bishops never met.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Good points about the bus except that peer pressure is not a good reason to attend church, and I'm not sure how well it would work outside of Utah anyway where ~99% of the people you know aren't LDS and couldn't care less if you go to church.

The membership roll of my branch in upstate New York was probably at least a third full of names that no one had heard of before. As the deacons' and then teachers' quorum president I was supposed to help "reactivate" some of them who were boys my age. I felt awkward and never did much with that because what was I supposed to say? "Hi, you've never met any of us and never set foot in our chapel in your life, but want to come to an activity?"

John Pack Lambert said...

Are there any young American missionaries in Nigeria? I am guessing no but I xouls see maybe some missions but not Enugu or Port Harcourt.

John Pack Lambert said...

When we get baptized we agree to care for our fellow believers. This is not always easy or the comfortable thing buy we need to reach out. It is at times hard. Here in Metro Detroit our new mission president initiated a program of extremely short visits by missionaries and a member on split where they give a plate of cookies and a short spiritual thought emphasis on short. I have seen a baptism of a child of a mom who had not been out to Church for more than 15 years as a result. We can get results if we sp out of our shells and comfort zones.

Ben said...

Chile has a whole bunch of problems that I think are cultural. In the central south area where I lived I remember the first time it rained, people just didn't go to Church. They don't even play football in the rain.

As a ward, we could barely cope with the new baptisms, never mind the less-actives. We had 4 companionships of missionaries and one year in the last four years we peaked at about 60 baptisms. Other years we were generally between 15-25 new members per year.

There have been efforts to locate and visit all members in Chile with the El Rescate programme. There is a news story about that here: http://www.elfaromormon.org/creando-una-estructura-de-retencion-en-sudamerica/

Mike Johnson said...

I used to home teach a less active couple in our ward. We had some good conversations and I long felt that the wife would go to church if she could with her inactive husband. He had some issues and it was hard to get him to talk about them. After reassignment as their home teacher, I visited them on other occasions with the missionaries. Last time we were in his home, the missionaries encouraged him to open up with his issues. He said nobody has answers to them. I told him that I had an answer, the only question is whether anybody would accept my answer.

He asked a question and I provided an answer. He asked another and I answered that one as well. He then said it was refreshing to have somebody take seriously his questions and provide thoughtful answers. He said he would think about them. Later, his wife asked a question and I answered it. He then told his wife, "doesn't it feel good to have somebody provide a logical answer and not just tell you to have more faith?"

None of the questions were all that significant in my opinion, very tangential to the gospel. But, they were hangups and I thought maybe gateway questions to see if he might trust to ask for more serious ones, but they stopped asking questions. So I wondered about it.

He was recently hospitalized and members of the ward went to the hospital to give him a blessing. Last week I saw the two of them walk into Sacrament Meeting just before it started and before I knew it I went over to greet them and ask them how everything was going. They were back again this week.

Johnathan Whiting said...

@Mike: That's a refreshing story. Thanks for sharing.

Johnathan Whiting said...

@Mike: That's a refreshing story. Thanks for sharing.

Eduardo Clinch said...

R.Jofre: did you live or serve in Chile? In my first area of Mulchen, all our baptismal candidates met and interviewed with Obispo Hinojosa. Great bishop. We had good attendance, sometimes up to 200 attendees.
Claudio Orlate asked to be baptized, we taught him, he attended church, had friends in the ward, and maybe 3 days after his confirmation "changed his mind" and confessed to a Catholic priest, thus ending his commitment as LDS. That was one of ovet a do

Eduardo Clinch said...

...over a dozen people who joined in my time there who all knew the bishop and other members when getting baptized. Some people came and left quickly, but all knew our bishop. 6 months earlier in 1989 about 60 people were baptized in that same ward of the Los Angeles Stake, with an Elder Effington or Effingham. I heard a lot about him and that huge month, and I and my 3 succesive companions tried to help them as much as possible. One of them was a relojero (watch repairman) who wad called as a counselor before I left that ward. I know for our part we tried to assist fellowshipping the right way, but many other factors came into play, including long time active members that would get pregnant outside of wedlock and go less active, people taking offense with other members, laziness as cited, or failures like transportation or health issues that prevented better attendance.
I myself know what it is like to attend with a wife and two small children, and we lived closer than most ward members and enjoyed better health and dealings with funding. No car. It required a lot of effort.
I am not sure what stakes and wards you know in Chile, but I am talking about bishops and branch presidents who would fall away as inactives, less actives as well. And returned missionaries, too.
It wasn't only hurried teaching or baptizing; there were factors of apostasy there that go beyond "not knowing priesthood authorities". I don't dismiss all the fast conversions that may have occurred, but to sweep every missionary under that rug is a false generalization. Believe me, I think about and review our past dealings all the time.
And some things were done ideally and still did not work over time.
I hope Elder Holland and others more fully understand some of the unique challenges of Chile and elswhere, and now we have better policies of growth Church wide.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Ben: what years and stakes did you serve in?
My stakes included Los Angeles '90, Concepcion '90, San Pedro '91, Angol District '91, Chillan '91, Chillan '94, and Angol Stake 2005.
One more note about the winter months: when it wasn't raining and making some streets muddy and hard to navigate, when there were clear skies it would get really cold inside most homes with no central heating and it was literally hard to get out of bed. Like camping in a November North American tent. Every morning. By 10:00 or 11 it would get warmer; sometimes I would wait to shower till lunch since warm water could be scarce, too.
So much harder getting kids ready, and then walking or pushing or carrying them 5,10,15 or more blocks.
Not easy.

Ben said...

Eduardo: I didn't serve in Chile but I lived in Chile 2008-2017 (just left recently in March). During my 9 years I lived in the La Serena, Talca and Curicó stakes.

I knew someone called Jovita - what was her surname?

Eduardo Clinch said...

I wish I could recall off hand. I know I must have it written in my notes. Also, I may have messed up on her son's name. There was a 9 year old Jonathan living in my pension at that time who later served a mission, I saw him in Conce in 2005. Jovita's son may be different, he was about 3.. He would be in late 20s now?

She (Jovita, maybe Munoz?) was baptized in Santa Juana (Bio-Bio Province) in March of '91; she was moving to the south I think, maybe Temuco or Victoria or a place in the 9th Region like that. She had married a Jehovah's witness and divorced him. It was a surprise that she requested to be baptized because she was a close friend of the family of members that I lived with, we didn't invite her too much,and then she wished to join before moving away.

In retrospect many Chileans (at least back then) would have the urge to join more than attend, which of course we would try our best to respect. We had some fast baptisms, and when people passed the interviews with elders or local authorities, we thought that the kingdom was growing. We made sure that they understood and believed in the Book of Mormon, and were committed to the Laws of the Gospel. But that shelf life can be awfully short, or fragile, even with regular activity.

Here's a sociological comment about Chile, as I try to understand culture and my particular perspective. Back then, especially in small towns like where I served, "gossip", i.e. knowing other people's affairs, seemed to be a huge form of how people were occupied. This could have serious negative effects on church activity, but it can be hard to explain;if you have lived in small towns you might know what I mean. Old petty family grievances and class judgments often supercede newly introduced goals or lifestyles like attending a new faith, even as people from former walks of life may begin to mix in those environments.

With social media, increased computer and phone communication, better economic or educational programs, the Chilean people have gone through transformations as has the rest of the world, but in some ways as a unique people they are figuring out who they are as a people, if Europe or the US or Chile or Argentina or Mexico is the leader of their thoughts, ambitions, style, outlooks, feelings, ways of speaking, acting, etc.

It's all incredibly fascinating and somewhat bewildering. I do not pretend to know the answers, but I still maintain that the pure love of Christ and a true message will win out at the end of the day. Chile will be and has been a blessed nation in the world. The LDS Church will continue to grow there.

The US has its own cultures and trends; we see it here in myriad aspects daily and yearly. Social media has its own effects worldwide. This is another part of how the Gospel goes forth, or not.

My brother-in-law served in Curico around '98. He loved it.

R. Jofre said...

Eduardo, yes I have lived in Chile most of my life and served in several wards, branches and stakes, but I served as a missionary in Paraguay. I notice that you served in the Concepcion mission, wich I know had less of those quick baptism practices than say some Santiago missions or Viña del Mar. I don't mean to imply that you did it or anyone else, I just know it happened a lot. That's in the past though, and the present and future look a lot brighter.

james anderson said...

Problems have seemed to always exist in Chile, as I heard in the early 80s that leadership wondered if they had jumped the gun when they organized the original Iquique stake but never heard the details or reasons they felt so

R. Jofre said...

There is a district in the northern suburbs of Santiago, that for some reason is not part of a stake, being that the nearest stakes are 10 to 30 minutes away for most units. This district (Colina Chile district) just got a new branch organized, wich is an indication of growth, because is a division of some of the urban branches, wich in turn makes me believe there is hight attendance. Last year a ward was divided in the Valparaiso Chile stake. I also remember new units were created in Puerto Montt, Chillán and Iquique, all divisions of existing wards in stakes or branches in districts (not just last year but the last three years).

I know there are problems in Chile as there are problems everywhere. Even the United States has a fair share of polygamist active LDS (I don't mean practising polygamists though). We had one in my branch in Iowa. I don't think there are any polygamist LDS in Chile, unless they came from elsewhere.

ScottS said...

The Mount Vernon Washington Stake will split next week on 4/23/2017. In preparation for this stake boundaries were realigned and ward were moved between the Marysville, Arlington, Everett, and Snohomish stakes.

Bryan Dorman said...

On 4/16/17 the Puebla Mexico Citlaltepetl District was formed, taking out units from the Amalucan, Fuertes, and Libres stakes. This was the district I had announced earlier for San Salvador El Seco in Puebla. It maintains the name of the branch that will serve as the center of the district, the Citlaltepetl branch, named for the Nahuatl term of the Pico de Orizaba which overlooks the entire district. It appears to be in honor of an old tradition where 30 years ago the Puebla Mexico Popocatepetl Stake formed in an extensive area from Atlixco to Tlaxcala north and west of Puebla city. The descendants of the old Popocatepetl stake are many, as stakes exist in Atlixco, Cholula, two Nealtican stakes, and two Tlaxcala stakes.

I was there in the conference where 443 people attended and multiple pictures were taken from the membership there.

The affected units are:

(Ceded by Amalucan)

Serdan Ward (downgraded to a branch) as it is now part of a district.
Tlachichuca Branch (was a group before the formation of the district, under Serdan's supervision).
Citlatepetl Branch (this will serve as the district center--located in San Salvador El Seco).

(Ceded by Fuertes)
Libres Ward (downgraded to a branch) as it is now part of a district.
Grajales Branch (was a group before the formation of the district, under Libres' supervision).

(Ceded by Tehuacan)
Tecamachalco Branch (farthest unit away from the district center, about one hour drive away whereas the Puebla and Tehuacan stakes were over two hours away and this is the closest branch to Puebla of the six branches.

Unnamed group under Tecamachalco Branch's supervision (could be Tepeyahualco as it is nearly an hour away from Tecamachalco and still two plus hours from Tehuacan).

Also there is a proposal to divide La Libertad and Mayorazgo stakes to form the Angelopolis Stake (STILL a proposal, not approved by the authorities just yet, but should be forthcoming as there are 20 wards between the two existing stakes).

Ben said...

I was under the impression that at one point Concepción mission was the highest baptising in Latin America? People in Talca always used to tell me this. I don't know whether it is mission tactics or whether it's the people, but there are some definite spatial patterns for growth and strength in Chile. Talca has just 1 stake (8200 members), but has many more members (in thousands) than Chillan, Los Angeles, Valdivia or Osorno all of which have two stakes. Also in or about the Maule region is the Linares district (4900 members), Curicó stake (6800 members) and San Fernando district (5100 members) - all of which are underachieving in terms of status compared to the stakes further south. Granted, there were stakes years ago before Elder Holland arrived, and there were two stakes in Curicó and Talca, but the stakes in the south survived, those in the Maule region did not.

I have a friend who is a 7th Day Adventist who is from Chillan but lives in Curicó. He is always complaining about his church in the Maule region and that it is well known that the Maule region has larger commitment issues than Biobio. Biobio has many Adventist schools, universities, etc... But Maule just has 1.

Maybe it's not always 100% about the missionaries but maybe the culture for a particular region.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Fascinating analysis.
I spoke with a former missionary of the Concepcion Mission about his time in 1980, before the Osorno Mission and maybe before Santiago South went further down.
He (a Chilean probably from the capital) said that his mission broke the all time record with 5,000 baptisms in one month. 1980, he said. Possible, I don't think he was lying. Not sure.
When I was in the Provo MTC in '89 we were getting reports that Vina was baptizing well over 1,000 monthly.
My high that I saw in Concepcion in '90 was around 400. Still huge numbers.
I guess the most disheartening thing I saw apart from what people accuse as "non-conversions" were former missionaries and branch presidents who were less active.
Like it was a fad or a temporary romance. That happens in the US and elsewhere but there has to be some cultural factors at play. Especially leadership.
My last companion from El Bosque related how top leaders in the 1970s were corrupt and stealing from the Church and there was a big purge of them because they used our faith as a cash cow.Sad.
Back around summer of '91 a really respected Church leader was killed in the streets of either Chillan or Talca; I think it was a major blow to many. I met people who knew and loved him and losing people by death or sin is hard.
Satan definitely has his manas in Chile.
But the right will prevail.☺

John Pack Lambert said...

There are obviously lots of factors. I have seen themost loving and welcoming wards have people go inactive and the most unwelcoming wards have people retained. There are lots of culture issues. Including the way seminaries and institutes are instituted. Bishop Causse still might be alone in saying yes I was trained to be a priest in a seminary.

Christopher Nicholson said...

If census data from basically every country are anything to go by, the vast majority of inactive members globally are not "fellow believers" but no longer believe, practice, or self-identify as LDS at all. In the US I know anecdotally that many people who self-identify as "ex-Mormon" and are quite hostile toward the Church have simply never bothered to formally resign and are still counted on the records. This complicates things.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Christpher: yes, a significant number of people on the rolls are somtimes hostile and others not participatory at all. I have immediate family that could be considered as such, and I know many others. One of them is an ex brother-in-law and most of his children would also be part of the less active crowd. To be honest, I don't know if his name is removed, nor have I asked him.
Like say, Islam or Christian Orthobox or Catholic or Jewish, there are many "lapsed" and non-practicing people who appear on lists but don't contribute much in pews or coffers.
That is why as I see the traffic on this blog it is cool to observe temples, stakes, wards, and branches being created or divided, because even though a unit may have as few as 15-20 active members, it is a better way to measure real LDS Church growth.
Every temple is amazing because it represents thousands of active members, even the smallest ones.
Every stake presidency is another miracle because it also signifies thousands who are active.
Great to see the recent new stake created in Montana. It is awesome to see a new stake in a state that does not see that too often.
What are the last ten US states to not have a new stake?
Rhode Island should be one, but the the newest Connecticut stake helps a few Rhode Islanders have a closer stake center, I think.

Mike Johnson said...

An argument can be made that the creation of the New London Connecticut Stake was in fact the creation of a stake in Rhode Island. The Providence Rhode Island Stake had it stake center in New London and with the division of a stake a stake center was established in Rhode Island.

Based on the stake creations since 2011 on this site the following stakes were created (I didn't include districts and these aren't net because I didn't subtract off stakes being discontinued. 19 states did not have a stake creation since 2011.

49 Utah
24 Arizona
16 Texas
9 Idaho
7 Washington
7 Nevada
5 Colorado
5 Florida
4 Virginia
3 Missouri
2 Arkansas
2 California
2 Kansas
2 Pennsylvania
2 Tennessee
1 Alabama
1 Alaska
1 Connecticut
1 Delaware
1 Georgia
1 Hawaii
1 Iowa
1 Massachusetts
1 Montana
1 New Jersey
1 New Mexico
1 New York
1 North Carolina
1 North Dakota
1 Oklahoma
1 Wyoming
0 Illinois
0 Indiana
0 Kentucky
0 Louisiana
0 Maine
0 Maryland
0 Michigan
0 Minnesota
0 Mississippi
0 Nebraska
0 New Hampshire
0 Ohio
0 Oregon
0 Rhode Island
0 South Carolina
0 South Dakota
0 Vermont
0 West Virginia
0 Wisconsin

Eduardo Clinch said...

Cool list, thanks.
Of the 0s, I would expect southern and western states to get a new stake next.
Like Oregon. Maybe Louisiana? South Carolina? Mississippi?
In my home state we always hoped that Terre Haute would become a new stake, but that has never materialized. Not sure if it will soon.
Indianapolis has 3 at present, West being the newest, which dipped into previous Bloomington units.
Not sure where a new Indiana stake could form: maybe Columbus?
What about Ohio?
Illinois should be due, especially with all the people in Chicagoland.
Good stuff.

John Pack Lambert said...

Loisiana lost a stake just after Katrina so it may get a new one soon. The Traverse City Michigan District may be close to reaching stake status.

David Todd said...

I never posted when I heard this, but the traverse City District appealed for an exception to become a stake. It was approved all of the way up to the 12. Elder Bednar, who reviewed their application for stakehood accepted their appeal for an exception and said that if they can get 20 AFTPMPH in 5 of the branches they will become a stake. District leaders are excited because they have a very real goal to work towards now.

James said...

The interesting discussions continue as usual on this site. I have enjoyed catching up today on things I've missed in the last little while. I do enjoy hearing of Church growth developments worldwide, and the ongoing developments that are being reported here have been exciting and inspiring. Thanks to you all. I would just add that one's true conversion to the gospel cannot be adequately measured by Church attendance alone. When numbers become more important than the members behind those numbers, Church leaders miss the mark. That unfortunately happens all too frequently, in spite of encouragement by general Church leaders about the way that should be handled. I had such an experience just recently. Most of you are aware of my general health issues and what I am specifically dealing with. My wife and I, still feeling unwell, were hauled in for a meeting with my Elder's Quorum President and one of our home teachers, the purpose of which seemed to be to downplay what we were experiencing and to urge us to regularly attend our meetings because our failure to do so was making the ward look bad. I applaud their efforts to try to encourage us in our situation, but berating us for something over which we have little or no control at the moment wasn't helpful. I don't mean to complain. My purpose in sharing this is to say that the attitude and approach of local Church leaders surely plays into how their units will progress. If any of you want to criticize me for finding fault with my local leaders, feel free. But I have felt a strong kinship with Joseph Smith and the Savior in my present trials, when it seems that even those who ought to treat my wife and I with kindness and try to understand what we are going through and to help us get through it are not doing so. That kind of approach doesn't seem to be in line with what has been said in scripture or by modern general Church leadership. If local leaders approach attendance issues in their units in the same manner as the Savior would, then maybe Church attendance would be better worldwide. Church leaders are called of God, it is true, but they still have their agency about how they approach their assigned responsibilities, and if they will let the Lord mold them into their callings rather than letting their own thoughts, attitudes and perspectives color their ministry, those leaders would be a lot better served. I hope that clarifies what I'm trying to say, and that this comment might be useful to some few of you. If what I have said somehow brands me as hypocritical or unjust, then I will have to take that chance. It's something I have thought a lot about since last Sunday. Thanks for letting me unburden myself.