December 8th, 2006
|11:43 am - ADF membership numbers, regions, and where things are going|
With word that new regions were coming into effect in ADF, I decided that I wanted to take a look at growth rates, given that we'd shortly be unable to compare growth in the Canadian region as we have in the past because it would be split into three parts: Canada East, Canada West, and Europe (everyone in Europe was lumped into Canada before).
Before the split officially took place, these were the growth rates from the previous 20 months, by region, in ADF:
Canada: 98%(These numbers were posted to ADF-Leadership a few days ago, but I'm still thinking about them, so wanted to post here, too.)
Upper Midwest: 25%
The Central Region (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Texas, Louisiana) has been plagued with issues, including the defuncting of all Groves and Protogroves in Texas within the past two years, and only three Groves in that region (one of which is brand new in New Orleans) are left. We also don't have any Clergy in that entire region. I initially thought maybe the fact that they're all Red states had something to do with it, but the Southeast, which is entirely Red as well, posted 20% increases. None of this, of course, is anyone's fault; I'm mostly just thinking through the drop in numbers more than anything else.
For the most part, though, our regions show double-digit increases, meaning that we're generally maintaining our membership balance like we always have. I'm a tad disappointed in the Heartland regions's meagre 11%, but given our size and usual "top-dog" status among regions in terms of membership numbers, 11% still represents a lot of members.
The biggest surprise to me was the Southeast, with a 20% increase, by far the largest increase in the US. Given that South Carolina, and Georgia have both doubled in size and Florida has increased by half-again, though, that's not too surprising. A lot of it, I think, has to do with the enthusiasm our Groves have shown down there, and I'm pleased to see that the idea that it's hard to get things moving in the "Bible Belt" doesn't seem to be stopping anyone.
I expected to see a larger growth rate in the Southwest, but 13% is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The Northeast is still a solid performer: it's where ADF has a good chunk of "old guard" and a lot of our leadership comes out of there (though this is changing rapidly), so there's a lot if resources in the area for newcomers to really latch onto.
The Northwest surprises a lot too, I think, especially in stark contrast to the Southeast. The way we think about the Bible Belt of the American South and the hippies of the American Northwest: one would think we'd have some leaps and bounds in membership up there, but the growing is slow compared to most other regions. I am generally at a loss to explain it, other than to say that sometimes, logical sense doesn't pan out in reality. :)
Canada is the obvious winner, nearly doubling its membership. Now that it's being split into three separate regions, though, things will change. I'm interested to see how Canada fares, now that it's free from being lumped in with Europe, and I'm particularly interested to see how Europe itself fares, now that they're a bit more independent (and we won't be getting the question, "Hey, why does my region list me as "Canada"? I live in Belgum!").
So go Canada, good luck to the new East Canada, West Canada, and Europe regions of ADF, and someone needs to send a fruit basket to Chris:) and valkyrvolva for excellent work in their regions. I'm excited to see how things pan out in the future of ADF.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw", -JB
We currently have 3 in Australia, one in Japan, and one in New Zealand. That covers that side of the ocean. So I'd say that percentage change there is going to be impressive when you move :)
But your query asks a question that I know the MG has been dealing with: how many members constitute a region? The last "magic number" I heard was 9, but I don't think that's at all solid. Right now, they're under the same old system: closest other region is where they get lumped.
I imagine that in Thailand, you'll be Northwest. Australia/NZ would probably be Southwest. Honestly, though, I'm not sure what would be a better way to do it with such a low population.
The MG should try looking at a different picture (rather than just numbers), especially for those in Asia (or moving to it): as ADF members we will not be in what is typically thought of as "Christian Nation" (as those within North America and Europe are often called), thus we have vastly different needs, challenges, and community goals.
Wow! Mazi brings up an excellent point that hadn't really occurred to me outright. The vast majority of ADF exists in an area that is historically dominated by any various form of classic European culture, and has been for centuries (if not millenia). With the majority of Asia & Africa, however, we're talking about cultures where not only has that same European culture never dominated, but in many areas is totally alien to the indigenous culture there.
For example, it's one thing to talk about issues regarding being an IE Neopagan in a predominantly X-tian society. However, both Neopaganism and Christianity are inherently based in European culture. Harder still is understanding different levels of discrimination when Neopaganism is introduced into, say, a Shinto society.
Would definitely be worth considering when deciding which "reps" speak for which regions, IMNSHO....
|Date:||December 9th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)|| |
FWIW, I lobbied for a Eurasia region instead of Europe, but the tide was against me (and it probably doesn't matter in the long run :)