Several years ago?¢‚Ç¨‚Äùshortly after we moved into our current ward in fact?¢‚Ç¨‚Äùthe First Presidency introduced a programme of sorts that they referred to as ?¢‚Ç¨?ìraising the bar?¢‚Ç¨¬ù. Presumably, they were tired of all the missionaries who goofed off in the mission field or missionaries who came on a mission to gain a testimony, missionaries who had very little gospel understanding, and so forth.
The idea of ?¢‚Ç¨?ìraising the bar?¢‚Ç¨¬ù was that bishops and stake presidents would be more thorough in their scrutinizing of the prospective missionaries.
I was ecstatic with the announcement because I hoped this meant missionaries as a whole would be better concerned with who they baptized and how effective they were in ensuring those converts remained in the church.
Which brings us to today.
We have had roughly two dozen converts in our ward during the 7 years we’ve been here. Virtually all of those who stayed in our ward no longer participate fully. Two converts who were baptized this month still come to church, and one who was baptized nearly two years ago still comes. No one else does.
In short, retention rates seem similar to what they were prior to raising the bar. Has anything changed? Are the missionaries coming out at a higher standard now?