Key to the progress of an intensive programme of growth is the phase

dedicated to reflection, in which the lessons learned in action are

articulated and incorporated into plans for the next cycle of activity. Its

principal feature is the reflection meeting - as much a time of joyous

celebration as it is of serious consultation. Careful analysis of

experience, through participatory discussions rather than overly complex and

elaborate presentations, serves to maintain unity of vision, sharpen clarity

of thought and heighten enthusiasm. Central to such an analysis is the

review of vital statistics that suggest the next set of goals to be adopted.

Plans are made that take into account increased capacity in terms of the

human resources available at the end of the cycle to perform various tasks,

on the one hand, and accumulated knowledge about the receptivity of the

population and the dynamics of teaching, on the other. When human resources

increase in a manner proportionate to the rise in the overall Bahá’í

population from cycle to cycle, it is possible not only to sustain but to

accelerate growth.

The Universal House of Justice, 2005 Dec 27, To the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors

It would be appropriate to seize this opportunity to look at the standing and position of the Bahá’í community in the world today:

* Three National Assemblies have been re-formed in recent years in the Muslim world: those of Egypt, Indonesia and Iraq.

* More than 5 million Bahá’ís reside in virtually every country and territory around the world, in well over 100,000 localities.

* There are 182 National Spiritual Assemblies operating around the world. Over 40 percent of the membership of these national councils are women.

* National Spiritual Assemblies in countries with extended areas of jurisdiction have all established Regional Bahá’í Councils.

* The number of Continental Counselors has reached 81, with 990 Auxiliary Board members serving under them.

* The number of countries where Bahá’í marriage certificates are recognized has reached 60.

* Bahá’í literature is available in 802 languages.

* Over 27,000 classes for the spiritual and moral education of children and junior youth, open to children of Bahá’ís and those belonging to other denominations or groups, are conducted by Bahá’í communities on a regular basis.

* More than 600 Bahá’í elementary schools, mostly in rural areas where formal schools do not exist, are operating throughout the world.

* Seven continental Bahá’í Houses of Worship have been established in virtually all the continents of the globe—all open for prayers and readings for the spiritual upliftment of Bahá’ís and interested friends. The eighth and last continental Temple is being built in Santiago, Chile.

* Plans for the construction of two national and five local Bahá’í Houses of Worship have been set in motion.

* Countless devotional gatherings all over the world are held regularly in Bahá’í centers and in Bahá’í homes. These are open to the believers and to the public as well. In all such meetings, whether in Bahá’í Temples or in informal devotional gatherings, Bahá’í prayers and readings are offered as well as appropriate extracts of scriptures of other revealed religions.

Most of the above data were kindly shared with me by the Statistics Department of the Bahá’í World Center.

‘Ali Nakhjavani, The Ninth Cycle of the Bahá’í Calendar and Its Relationship to the Teaching Work, 29 Apr, 2015

Managing the growth process necessitates certain practical skills such as

collecting statistics, because to monitor growth it is essential to be able

to measure it. The friends are learning to maintain an accurate database at

the grass roots by recording on a regular basis such information as the

number of individuals going through the institute's sequence of courses, the

number of core activities, the number of persons who attend these

activities, and the number of new enrollments. Special training in

collecting statistics has often been necessary for the friends at the

cluster level. This task needs to be carried out in such a way that it does

not overburden communities but provides data sufficient for planning and for

identifying measures to accelerate growth. Particular emphasis has been

given to tracking the statistics in the most promising clusters at about

three-month intervals, so that appropriate steps can be taken to move these

clusters toward intensive growth.

ITC, 2003 Apr 23, Building Momentum, p. 14