When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
idjeeper2
Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:39 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby idjeeper2 » Sun May 12, 2013 6:58 am

jasonfitt wrote:We don't count cups. I wouldn't think that would be very accurate. What about children, or infants who didn't take it? What about individuals who couldn't take it, or people who came late after it was passed, or left before it was passed. We want to be as accurate as possible.


I have a friend in another stake who was instructed by his Stake Clerk to count cups and add 10% to factor in the exceptions you mentioned. He did the normal walking count for a couple of months along with counting cups. His experience was that it was surprisingly accurate. I would expect that in a ward with lots of toddlers/infants, the method would under-count and in a more mature ward, it might over-count. But he did say that both methods were usually within 3 or 4 members of each other.

bradpeterson@gmail.com
New Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby bradpeterson@gmail.com » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:32 pm

We count cups and add 10%.

For a few weeks I was tasked with trying to find the most accurate number. So one week I tried counting heads in sacrament. That method was HARD, you can't see everyone, and I undercounted by about 30. Then I spent some Sundays watching all doors and keeping track of people. Turns out that many people still quietly filter in after sacrament. And adding in babies who don't take the sacrament, adding 10% onto sacrament cups was the most accurate method.

Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:28 pm

helix400 wrote:For a few weeks I was tasked with trying to find the most accurate number.

You can't get anymore accurate than going row by row and counting heads.

helix400 wrote:So one week I tried counting heads in sacrament. That method was HARD, you can't see everyone, and I undercounted by about 30.

Whats hard about going row by row and counting heads?

helix400 wrote:Then I spent some Sundays watching all doors and keeping track of people. Turns out that many people still quietly filter in after sacrament.

Then count later during the meeting, during the intermediate hymn or right after the hymn.

helix400 wrote:And adding in babies who don't take the sacrament, adding 10% onto sacrament cups was the most accurate method.

10% of a 190 would be 19. I seriously doubt any ward has 19 babies at a time, or even 19 people coming in late.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 9721
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby lajackson » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:03 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:I seriously doubt any ward has 19 babies at a time, or even 19 people coming in late.

That would be quite an underestimation in our ward. We checked both ways for a while and the number to add fluctuated from 17% to 24%. Too unreliable, so we still count bodies.

ggllbb
Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Ranchita, CA USA

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby ggllbb » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:46 pm

Sometimes it's nice being in a small branch. As 1st councilor, I can sit on the stand and quietly count everyone. Not only do I count them but I KNOW who everyone is, unless a visitor comes in late.

There are many things difficult about a small branch, but this is one of the many nice things. Even little things can be nice.

bradpeterson@gmail.com
New Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby bradpeterson@gmail.com » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:24 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:You can't get anymore accurate than going row by row and counting heads.... Whats hard about going row by row and counting heads?


Not so. For a few weeks I tried. The problem is that some kids are surprisingly hard to spot. Another issue is that many families are coming in and out of sacrament, or are in bathrooms, in the car, in a classroom getting ready, in the library, etc. Another is that many families leave after the sacrament. Another is that many families show up well after the sacrament and just hang out outside until sacrament ends. So for that month, I was constantly walking around the entire building, inspecting every classroom, watching every door, remembering every face, and counting heads as accurately as possible. In Bishopric meeting we compared the cups numbers and my detailed count numbers. The bishopric saw that taking sacrament cups, and adding 10%, was surprisingly accurate. So that's my direction to follow.

Gary_Miller wrote:10% of a 190 would be 19. I seriously doubt any ward has 19 babies at a time, or even 19 people coming in late.


I shared your skepticism. I advocated for just taking the amount of cups and adding 5. The Bishopric tasked me with a very accurate count of heads. Turns out I was wrong, adding 5 isn't enough to be accurate.

Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1222
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:51 pm

helix400 wrote:The Bishopric tasked me with a very accurate count of heads. Turns out I was wrong, adding 5 isn't enough to be accurate.

The way you are doing it now is never accurate. I would say that its virtually impossible to be 100% accurate.

We take the count at the same time every week right after the sacrament is passed. We go row by row so we can see everyone who is on the row, then we count those who are in the fower and that's it. The key is consistency taking it the same time and/or same way each and every time.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 5059
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:41 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Almost seems like you could keep a ward list, tick off any member of the family in attendance and just count the rest.... :)


I've seen this done before, someone or a couple of people on the stand have lists of members and they mark people they see. I think this is a great way to be aware of who's attending and not attending, as long as it can be done inconspicuously.

I always prefer to count during the intermediate hymn. On fast Sundays I try to count as much as I can from my seat, then verify during the closing hymn.

bradpeterson@gmail.com
New Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby bradpeterson@gmail.com » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:49 am

Gary_Miller wrote:The way you are doing it now is never accurate. I would say that its virtually impossible to be 100% accurate.

It's a decision made by our bishopric after consulting the handbook, doing research, and choosing an approach they felt was the closest possible to being accurate.

Overall, no approach is 100% accurate. Our ward has significant movement during the entire sacrament meeting hour. We found that counting heads right after sacrament is less accurate. Cups + 10% is simply more accurate for us.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this topic and read of other wards and stakes that do the same thing we do. We came up with our approach independently of others.

jirp
Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:02 pm
Location: Greybull WY

Re: When and How do you count attendance in sacrament?

Postby jirp » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:46 pm

I had never given it a thought. We have always counted immediately after the sacrament. My assumption given that when I was made clerk was the goal for attendance count was those present for the sacrament. If they came in late enough to miss that then it didn't count. So likely our count has been low from the late arrivals by 5 to 10 each week if any attendance counts.

When I was growing up the clerk sat in the stands behind the sacrament table. As the priesthood went back to their families following the priesthood he walked the aisles and counted. After the remodel that wasn't convenient so I walk from the back up and count up one side and back down the other one row of benches at a time.


Return to “Getting Started for New Clerks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest