No More Missionaries

by Lunatic Faith 68 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lunatic Faith
    Lunatic Faith

    Has anyone heard about this? We received an email from an old friend who is still an elder and doesn't know what we are up to. He said:

    "A change, they are no longer training missionaries and sending them into foreign fields. Gilead will now be used to train COs to go into congregations with problems and build them up. Only special pioneers will be sent out of country now. Also, all the property in Brooklyn is being sold. The new Branch headquarters will be in Warick, New York."

    I was thinking about this and it would seem to imply the field is saturated. There is no more need for missionaries, only the need to maintain. Which means "this good news of the Kingdom [has] been preached in all the inhabited earth." Where's armageddon?

  • sir82

    What I heard, informally, anyway, is that the rate of loss for Gilead graduates was considered too high to maintain the school.

    It's one of the more expensive investments in people that the Society makes, 5 months of schooling and then supporting missionaries financially in their assignments.

    I heard that large numbers of missionaries in recent years were quitting their assignments in less than 3 years, some even dropping out of the school before completion. I did not hear any specifics on numbers or percentages.

    So the Society determined that it no longer made financial sense to invest so much time & effort into training missionaries so they are "re-purposing" Gilead school to train "problem solvers" to go into "troubled areas". Only those already proven to be fanatically loyal (COs, DOs, or Bethelites) will be able to attend Gilead now.

    There will be a new school, "Bible School for Christian Couples". It will be held in many locations globally. It will be much less intense than Gilead (only 2 months instead of 5). It won't train missionaries per se, but a couple who graduates from a school in, say, South Afica might be assigned to help out in Mozambique or something like that, since they'll be geographically & culturally much closer.

    Overall, it's another cost-cutting move by the Society. One more way they are demonstrating they have cash flow problems.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Brother Knorr told us, circa 1970, that some missionaries deplaned, looked around, got back on and headed home ...



  • cameo-d

    Lunatic Faith: So where's Armageddon?

    Ah, it's been in progress. You seem to have missed the boat...ah, ark. I guess some folks won't realize it till it's over. Came and went and you never knew.

  • Quendi

    This is a very interesting development if it is true. Considering the layoffs going on worldwide, the closing of branch offices, and the slowdown of the work in many countries, refocusing Gilead would be a logical step. Of course, the WTS will put a positive spin on this if and when they make an official annoucement about ending the missionary work. Gilead has been a fixture for the WTS for nearly 70 years going back to its founding in February 1943. So shutting down the missionary school would be a huge change. Training COs to assist troubled congregations would be an admission that many of them are in spiritual decline. None of this can be seen as good news to the Governing Body. As for abandoning New York City for the green fields of upstate, that has been in the works for years. The sale of Brooklyn properties would create a cash windfall for the Society, enabling it to weather the drop in donations. Well, we'll have to see what does happen and how it is presented to the rank and file.


  • sir82

    Definitely true - there is an "addendum" to a service meeting part to be covered in a couple of weeks about all the "schools" the WTS runs. The October KM has an insert listing all of these quasi-schools. One of them listed is of course Gilead.

    The addendum is that if anyone is considering attending Gilead, too bad because they are no longer processing applications.

    This addendum is in the form of a BOE letter.

    This also tells us that the decsion to re-purpose Gilead was made rather suddenly - the October KM was printed in July or August, and the decsion to change Gilead must have been in September as it was announced at the Annual General Meeting on October 1.

    I suspect that the "ultra-super-duper-top-secret" zone visit later this month will be at least partially to explain this re-purposing.

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Obviously, Gilead is no longer needed because jehover is speeding up the work! Screw China!

  • blondie

    Preaching has not been the purpose of missionaries for some time. Single women used to be called but very few if any now. Married couples, and the men are used to train male jws in administrative duties, COs, DOs, etc. The local jws were trained to preach but it was not the role of the missionaries to do it. More and more local male jws are on the Branch Committees.

    I agree with what sir82 has said as well. I have known Gilead graduates and many don't stay long in their assignments. We in the western world are spoiled regarding living arrangements.

  • DesirousOfChange

    Lunatic Faith: So where's Armageddon?

    Cameo: Ah, it's been in progress. You seem to have missed the boat...ah, ark. I guess some folks won't realize it till it's over. Came and went and you never knew.

    Evidently it was also INVISIBLE?


  • Momma-Tossed-Me

    Well, this is great news! I know a couple in our area that you could tell were positioning for it. Too late now.

    On the topic of Gilead Students, when I was at Patterson, I had the opportunity to associate with such specially educated people.

    We worked on the landscape construction crew, so as you can imagine we were doing work that typical Americans won't do and pass off to imigrant labor.

    After about 1/2 a day of this type of work for the soft handed regualr pioneer types, both men and women were assigned to the crew, they went whining to whomever would listen. Of course they were told it was part of their training because they never know what they might encounter in the field where they were to be assigned.

    I remember these two guys. One was from another country and the other from here. They would be told to go get something with a golf cart and not return for several hours. They didn't give a s**t. They would show up late to work, with some lame excuse.

    The rest were basicly sloths, just doing their time until they could get back into the air conditioning.

    I remember this one couple who graduated and due to problems with visa's or something they couldn't go to their assignment. They were stuck with us for a year or more. Talk about depressed.

    That's all for now.


  • mrsjones5

    Sounds like a business practice called "cost containment".

  • LostGeneration

    This is really telling, not that their "missionary program" was ever anything special in the first place. Fifty missionaries every six months is a drop in the bucket compared to the worldwide population.

    But it is another message that JWs just can't get the job done when it comes to spreading their message.

    How many in China? 1.3 billion if I remember correctly. Another billion in India. Close to a billion when you add up the Arab countries. There are 3 Billion alone that probably haven't even heard of Jehovah, let alone the vast publishing empire he has established here on earth to proclaim his message of doom.

    Another "circle the wagons" move. They aren't looking to grow anymore, they just want to hold on to what they have.

  • diamondiiz

    The western world is not producing much return on investment (lack of recruits) while the developing and third world nations are not worth investing in. Poor nations can grow but who wants a negative return on investment? Therefor, we will re-educate COs and DOs to push the western dubs to push for more intense recruiting. It's the west that pays the bills and if they can't get the west to grow then there is no point of expanding into the third world where there is a large grow but no money for building projects.

  • bigmac

    i did start a topic enquiring about watchtower missionaries a couple of days back--but i dont think anyone responded.

    just shows how interesting the subject is(nt)

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    Interesting and very telling.

  • EmptyInside

    It's funny,but a sister who attended the Annual meeting called the move to upstate New York and expansion,really?

    They told them at the Annual meeting,no,the Governing Body,haven't lost their minds, even though,we keep building and expanding. Armageddon is still close.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    All these changes are very logical for a business, however I didn't know that the primary porpuse of a religion was to perform it's responsibilities in the most cost effective way possible. Now before someone jumps in, I realize they can't be spend thrift but $$$ seems to dictate all changes now. So much for the one sheep that is tracked down and saved by the shepherd, regardless of the "cost".

  • Quarterback

    It could be a way to downsize those who have been at Bethel for many years.

    They could be trying to sell them on a Gilead training degree (wow the sky is the limit). Now that's higher education

    Imagine the congregations to be blessed with such learned ones.

  • Walk On
    Walk On

    My sister said a recent KM (Canada) said that couples should think seriously about moving to another country to help with the preaching work... now suddenly they (her and her husband) are thinking about moving to South America based on that since they don't have kids and aren't going to. I told her I'd come down and haul her back myself if they just up and left... but Iwonder if thats related to the topic...

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    I think it is Walk on. They asked for volunteers. Nothing said about paying expenses. If some crazy JW couple wants to go to a foriegn country on their own dime, The WT won't say no

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