Missionary Numbers Grow, Convert Baptisms Fall

22 May

LDS ChurchAn ex-Mormon website I was reading the other day* was talking about an article in the Salt Lake Trib who reported the Church isn’t seeing the number of convert baptisms they were hoping for by lowering the age requirements for missionaries.

Somehow I missed that article. Yikes! While I did post an article on membership numbers going down I didn’t equate the missionary factor into the whole scenario which actually makes this whole thing even worse.

Here’s a little of what the Trib had to say;

“In the year and a half since the LDS Church lowered the minimum age for full-time missionary service, the Utah-based faith has seen its proselytizing force swell from 58,500 to more than 83,000. That’s a 42 percent leap.

…convert baptisms last year grew to 282,945…That’s an increase of — less than 4 percent…

The main problem, says independent researcher Matt Martinich…is that the new missionaries were largely assigned to areas such as the United States and Latin America, where Mormons are well-established and the “market” for the religion may be saturated.”

I thought one of the contributors on the site made a valid point by stating ‘if the area was ‘saturated’ as the Church and the researcher claims then it should mean everyone was Mormon’.

If logic plays itself out here then the US Mormon population would have to be higher than 2%, right? It’s a rare day when someone hasn’t heard of Mormonism, but hearing about Mormonism and being actively involved in Mormonism are two different things! How can these areas be saturated if the numbers don’t reflect such a claim?

The LDS Church is now saying they’re not worried so much about the number of new conversions as they are about converting those who are already Mormon.  ?????  If they weren’t concerned over their return on investment then why do they publish annual reports giving out inflated membership numbers?

Kirk (my husband) just returned from a missions trip down in Nicaragua. He and the rest of the team were there for ten days and I’m not aware of anyone in our church who was counting the number of people who professed faith, but I do know many lives were changed by their selfless devotion in service to the Lord!

There’s a stark contrast in the LDS agenda and the purpose of what the body of Christ does when mission work is concerned.  For example, on Kirk’s trip an older gentleman walked up to the pulpit on the last day of the men’s conference crying and asked if he could share with the pastor and congregation what Jesus had done in his life since they’d been there.

The man was on his third marriage and realized through the conviction of the Holy Spirit that he was desperately wrong in the way he had treated his first two wives and even the wife he was married to now.  In light of this he asked his wife for forgiveness and told everyone he was a changed man.

This is the work of the Lord. This is what missions are about!  It’s not counting numbers to figure out how much their 10% is going to add to church resources, rather, this is seeing God being actively at work in individual lives and making them a new creature in Christ!  2 Cor 5:17

So the Church has 44% more missionaries and they only saw a 4% convert rate. The number of converts per missionary went from 5 to 3.5 in the same two year mission requirement. The Trib also noted that researchers who attended a conference in Los Angeles listened to a Stake President who instructed missionaries to stop tracting (door-to-door proselytizing) or “contact potential converts on their own, but to rely exclusively on member “referrals.””.

This spells trouble for the Church considering their activity rate in North America is less than 35%. How are they going to get what little members they have to convert their friends and family?

*While the information on the site mentioned (exmormon.org) does provide helpful info on Mormonism, Life After Ministries does not endorse the philosophical agenda of their message.  The views of their site are primarily atheist in nature.

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