I’ve noticed that wards in Utah tend to be larger than the wards in other parts of the Church, at least in terms of active, participating members. In one Utah ward we visited, we saw a young married woman sustained as the MiaMaids Liaison to the Ward Activities Committee. My wife and I chuckled since we felt lucky to even have one person serving on that committee – we would never dream of having someone called as the liaison for a single class to serve on what must have been a gargantuan, bustling committee. Ah, the luxury of having a large ward.
Any idea what the optimim size of a ward is? And if there is an optimum size, why does there seem to be such diversity in ward size? I have occasionally heard some local leaders suggest that a good way to foster growth is to keep units small and lean, splitting them as they grow slightly, so that people are stretched and motivated to reach into the ranks of the less active and new converts to get them busy in building Zion. I’m not sure if there’s a solid foundation of data behind that theory – any ideas? If that theory is right, why isn’t it done that way in Utah?
Please note that I speak from very limited experience and may not be adequately characterizing trends across the Church. I’d appreciate your perspectives on how big wards should be and when they should be split. If it helps, our ward has about 350 people, with an activity level that I think is below 50%, and may get a little smaller in a couple months with a new ward about to be formed in our stake. How are things done where you live?