New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

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Original_Intent
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Original_Intent »

tribrac wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:35 pm Also smaller wards, smaller stakes, and I have never been in a bishopric, high council etc....makes me feel like a loser.

I guess by every lds metric I am.
Right there with you, but I have no regrets, I'd rather be a loser in their eyes.

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Subcomandante
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Subcomandante »

Mamabear wrote: December 1st, 2023, 4:13 am A letter from the first presidency went out yesterday changing the requirements for wards and stakes.

https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comment ... wards_and/

Summary:
Old requirement in the US for total members in a stake: 3,000
New: 2,000
Participating adults: 500

Old requirement for total members in a ward: 300.
New: 250
Participating adults: 100

Set the bar low to look good.
This isn't really setting the bar low.

They are also looking at participating youth, which has NEVER been considered before when it comes to ward and stake sizes. That in itself is a smart move; you don't want to create a stake in an area where the youth are moving out, only to consolidate it after the older members die off.

They have also looked ONLY at SMAPDIS (the Spanish acronym that could best be translated as "Active Melchizedek Priesthood, Full Tithe Payers) and for a stake to be created you only needed 120 of them. Now you need 150.

Internationally there are many wards that should only be branches. In my stake I can think of at least four wards that don't even have 100 people attending sacrament meeting, which would justify their downgrading to branches (and as a result a consolidation of the stake with the neighboring stake to the east). However in a neighboring town to the southwest, where there are three stakes, they could probably divide those wards up a couple of times over and create a fourth stake in relatively short order. Quite a few members have moved out there precisely because the Church is stronger there. But at the same time, that creates a weakness in areas where the Church is quite weak.

Another issue is language-specific areas. In the United States this is generally not a problem, as there are missionaries that target specific groups of people. In San Diego, where my parents live, there are 8 languages that the missionaries speak. There's English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Farsi, and Arabic.

Believe it or not Mexico City is a more diverse city than people realize. If you go to the JW meetinghouse locater and just looked at random spots in Mexico City, you have at least a dozen languages represented in their congregations, including three dialects of Nahuatl.

The LDS meetinghouse locator for Mexico City has every last congregation there, except for one, in the Spanish language. The lone English congregation is where the Area Presidency lives.

Buenos Aires is even worse. Just by looking at the downtown Buenos Aires congregations of JWs, they have access in eleven different languages. The LDS Church only does Spanish in the entire city.

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TheDuke
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by TheDuke »

Personally I do not like small branches not enough quality for many talks and strange leadership issues

Dave62
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Dave62 »

TheDuke wrote: December 1st, 2023, 7:42 pm Personally I do not like small branches not enough quality for many talks and strange leadership issues
I know what you mean, Duke. Small units tend to have more dangerous rounds of leadership roulette. Also, the smaller the unit the more the weirdos stand out.

fractal_light_harvest
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by fractal_light_harvest »

I don’t believe they’ll ever allow home sacrament meetings as a general rule because they wouldn’t be able to control what gets taught and when, and to gate keep the ordinance of the sacrament. Their ability to exclusively administer the sacrament is what keeps people coming to church and having to listen to the talks based on GC talks and so on.

Sunain
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Sunain »

More number fudging for more artificial growth.

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Thinker
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Thinker »

spiritMan wrote: December 1st, 2023, 8:26 am
Mamabear wrote: December 1st, 2023, 4:13 am A letter from the first presidency went out yesterday changing the requirements for wards and stakes.

https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comment ... wards_and/

Summary:
Old requirement in the US for total members in a stake: 3,000
New: 2,000
Participating adults: 500

Old requirement for total members in a ward: 300.
New: 250
Participating adults: 100

Set the bar low to look good.
I said it a while ago that the Church would eventually shrink the sizes of wards/stakes in the US. Cut out 1/3rd of Church means more people available for the limited number of callings and given the Church wants high participation that means eventually the Church would shrink the size of wards/stakes.

Just raw numbers means that over time you'll get ~20% more wards/stakes in the US.
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CuriousThinker
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by CuriousThinker »

Original_Intent wrote: December 1st, 2023, 10:56 am
mudflap wrote: December 1st, 2023, 10:46 am ok, so the next obvious question in my mind is:

do we then get more buildings? cuz out here we could use another couple three, over trying to cram a 4th ward in the same building.
Maybe the next phase is another shortening of the meeting time.
Sacrament meeting down to ward and stake business, sacrament, and 1 15 minute or 2-3 5-minute talks. or whatever it takes to get it down to 45 minutes and 45 minutes for SS or priesthood/RS. All told, 2 hours in the building, 4 wards 9-11,11-2,1-3, and 3-5.
In my building 4 meet. 9, 10:30, 12, 1:30 start times.

JuneBug12000
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by JuneBug12000 »

TheDuke wrote: December 1st, 2023, 3:16 pm
JK4Woods wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:52 pm
Telavian wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:45 pm

I think the entire ward concept is completely unnecessary. Certainly there was no "wards" in the early church.
Why can't we meet together in each others homes? Why couldn't we essentially have many small groups of a few families each?

For the first 300 years of Christianity, members met in homes. Small groups.

Only after 300 years was a church built (adapted from a previous belief system).

Considering the LDS version of the apostasy was occurring… wouldn’t the development of churches and cathedrals mean it was part of the slide away from true Christ teachings..??
I don't seem to remember Jesus gathering in homes too often for large groups but I do remember him teaching in the synogogues.
I don't know. They opened a roof of a home to lower the man for healing. Also plenty of outside teachings to large gatherings. As for synagogues, it seems He got kicked out of those once they realized His message didn't match their agenda.

Bonhoeffer
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Bonhoeffer »

Telavian wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:19 pm
TheDuke wrote: December 1st, 2023, 11:29 am Not a hard over opinion, but it seem the folks in SLC like rules and policies that generally fit their needs but have a hard time adapting to local conditions via some spirit.
I agree. The one size fits all approach doesn't really make since.
My stake center is a bit over an hour away which means we never go there. The SP asks to meet with me, to tell me how right he is and how wrong I am, however why should I drive over 2 hours for this pointless meeting?

In rural cases like this then it would mean less engagement from the outlying areas. My stake covers parts of WA, ID, and MT. It is huge.
Struggle sessions aren’t only for communist countries are they?

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Reluctant Watchman
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Reluctant Watchman »

fractal_light_harvest wrote: December 2nd, 2023, 6:29 pm I don’t believe they’ll ever allow home sacrament meetings as a general rule because they wouldn’t be able to control what gets taught and when, and to gate keep the ordinance of the sacrament. Their ability to exclusively administer the sacrament is what keeps people coming to church and having to listen to the talks based on GC talks and so on.
Their supposed “keys and authority” are everything in the church. I mean that sincerely. They cannot allow somebody else to receive revelation or to dictate the “will of the Lord”, otherwise they lose their control over the members. What should have been a servant role has become a dictatorship. This single tradition will damn the church.

fractal_light_harvest
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by fractal_light_harvest »

Reluctant Watchman wrote: December 3rd, 2023, 7:07 am
fractal_light_harvest wrote: December 2nd, 2023, 6:29 pm I don’t believe they’ll ever allow home sacrament meetings as a general rule because they wouldn’t be able to control what gets taught and when, and to gate keep the ordinance of the sacrament. Their ability to exclusively administer the sacrament is what keeps people coming to church and having to listen to the talks based on GC talks and so on.
Their supposed “keys and authority” are everything in the church. I mean that sincerely. They cannot allow somebody else to receive revelation or to dictate the “will of the Lord”, otherwise they lose their control over the members. What should have been a servant role has become a dictatorship. This single tradition will damn the church.
I think you are right. Once you see it you can’t unsee it. Some people feel they need the structure and predictability in their lives though. It makes them feel safe and validated I believe — everything in its right place.

It makes what is supposed to be a sacrificial road to walk an easy, predictable one where you can have your cake and eat it too. It can be hard choosing Christ. It’s easier and more accommodating to choose men.

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TheDuke
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by TheDuke »

and some think they can work with Christ alone without society and obtain the reward............ I guess they love Christ have not service (no one to serve or love or challenges). Who needs the church? Surely not me and not Jesus. Really?

fractal_light_harvest
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by fractal_light_harvest »

If you love Christ and want to worship in his church then you gather together with another, two or more *in his name*. And then you are not alone, you are worshipping with His church because He is there with you, showing you the way.

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Reluctant Watchman
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Reluctant Watchman »

TheDuke wrote: December 3rd, 2023, 11:04 am and some think they can work with Christ alone without society and obtain the reward............ I guess they love Christ have not service (no one to serve or love or challenges). Who needs the church? Surely not me and not Jesus. Really?
Can we not have both, a personal relationship and community?

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TheDuke
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by TheDuke »

Reluctant Watchman wrote: December 3rd, 2023, 12:10 pm
TheDuke wrote: December 3rd, 2023, 11:04 am and some think they can work with Christ alone without society and obtain the reward............ I guess they love Christ have not service (no one to serve or love or challenges). Who needs the church? Surely not me and not Jesus. Really?
Can we not have both, a personal relationship and community?
yes, of course. It was not you that said we didn't need anyone else, you've been clear on seeing other groups filling the gap. Never disagreed with you on that point.

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Ebenezer
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by Ebenezer »

There's 195 people in sacrament meeting today in my ward, which is slightly above average. We don't crack 200 very often. Pre Covid, we'd get 280-300 regularly. A missionary meeting would beat 400.

I'm in a Utah County ward, deep in the heart of Mormon Country.

JohnnyL
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by JohnnyL »

tribrac wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:35 pm Also smaller wards, smaller stakes, and I have never been in a bishopric, high council etc....makes me feel like a loser.

I guess by every lds metric I am.
That's easy to remedy. Move to a small branch with little good priesthood leadership, you'll be a leader (and a winner, lol) soon!

JohnnyL
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by JohnnyL »

Mamabear wrote: December 1st, 2023, 4:13 am A letter from the first presidency went out yesterday changing the requirements for wards and stakes.
https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comment ... wards_and/

Summary:
Old requirement in the US for total members in a stake: 3,000
New: 2,000
Participating adults: 500

Old requirement for total members in a ward: 300.
New: 250
Participating adults: 100

Set the bar low to look good.
It's too much of a burden for leaders to have so many people they are responsible for. Hopefully (fingers crossed) with more leadership callings and opportunities, people will do better.

Years ago studies showed that about 90 was the ideal number of participating members of a social group, so they are quite close, especially with some coming off and on.

JohnnyL
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by JohnnyL »

JK4Woods wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:52 pm
Telavian wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:45 pm
tribrac wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:35 pm Also smaller wards, smaller stakes, and I have never been in a bishopric, high council etc....makes me feel like a loser.

I guess by every lds metric I am.
I think the entire ward concept is completely unnecessary. Certainly there was no "wards" in the early church.
Why can't we meet together in each others homes? Why couldn't we essentially have many small groups of a few families each?

For the first 300 years of Christianity, members met in homes. Small groups.

Only after 300 years was a church built (adapted from a previous belief system).

Considering the LDS version of the apostasy was occurring… wouldn’t the development of churches and cathedrals mean it was part of the slide away from true Christ teachings..??
So they guy that fell asleep and died from falling a few floors while listening to Paul was in a house?

JohnnyL
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by JohnnyL »

jack wrote: December 1st, 2023, 1:22 pm
Original_Intent wrote: December 1st, 2023, 10:56 am
mudflap wrote: December 1st, 2023, 10:46 am ok, so the next obvious question in my mind is:

do we then get more buildings? cuz out here we could use another couple three, over trying to cram a 4th ward in the same building.
Maybe the next phase is another shortening of the meeting time.
Sacrament meeting down to ward and stake business, sacrament, and 1 15 minute or 2-3 5-minute talks. or whatever it takes to get it down to 45 minutes and 45 minutes for SS or priesthood/RS. All told, 2 hours in the building, 4 wards 9-11,11-2,1-3, and 3-5.

We already have 4 wards in the building I attend. The sacrament schedule is 8:30, 10:00, 11:30, 1:00. With that schedule just about every stake center sized building could squeeze 5 wards and be done by 4:30. Personally, I loved that 8:30 am sacrament time. Church was over by 10:30 and I still slept in by my regular schedule standards.
Another ward has sacrament meeting that starts .5 hours after ours finishes; we could fit four easily. Besides, I remember going to church when I was young and when we finished, it was dark outside!

BTW, church building in Utah has also been tight, especially in some areas, for years. I heard a stake president who served near Ogden tell about trying to find a building that could fit a ward in that was closer than the one they were assigned that was 25 or so minutes away.

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TheDuke
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Re: New worldwide requirements to create wards and stakes

Post by TheDuke »

Socratic wrote: December 1st, 2023, 6:21 pm
JK4Woods wrote: December 1st, 2023, 12:52 pm
For the first 300 years of Christianity, members met in homes. Small groups.

Only after 300 years was a church built (adapted from a previous belief system).
Part of the reason for that was the Roman persecution - telling anyone that you were a Christian was literally a death sentence, and believers had to meet in homes, catacombs, fields, etc.
That was many years later during Nero

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