While reading one of Gumby's threads today, I figured out how to articulate something that's been bothering me about our analysis of WT statistics for a long time:
The supposedly "missing" publishers.
Recall your own first year of field slavery: you needed to be going out in service regularly, and turning in time, before you even qualified for baptism, didn't you? So you showed up in the Society's "publisher" column before you showed up in the "baptism" column.
Everyone seems to overlook this – that virtually all of those baptized in a given year have already showed up as publishers in the previous year's service report, if not earlier. So doesn't this mean the whole Baptisms - (ThisYear'sPublishers - LastYear'sPublishers) = Loss equation is invalid? And that the only figure that matters is the number of average publishers from year to year?