So what is the ending of the Congregation Book Study really all about? Surely the biggest winner in this new arrangement is the Circuit Overseer. Now he only has to take two meetings during his visit and will only "work" from Thursday to Sunday. That is a major reduction in workload as he can also wipe off Wednesday and Thursday ministry from the schedule.
And if Circuit Overseers are only working part-time do you think the Society will want to keep paying them? I don't think so! So then next change I expect to see is the abolition of full-time paid Circuit Overseers. They might be replaced by roving elders who support themselves by working during the week and then travel to nearby congregations for the Thursday meeting and field service and meeting at the weekend. Congregations might be encouraged to move the week night meeting to Friday to make this easier. Some congregations already do have a meeting on Friday. Think how much money the Society would save by not having to pay Circuit Overseers! $$$ And these new part-time Circuit Overseers could claim all expenses from the congregations they visit, just like a travelling speaker. In the early days of the Bible Students the travelling overseers were called Pilgrims and were largely self-supporting financially. So we might be going back to that sort of set-up. If this does happen we can expect the new breed of part-time Circuit Overseers to be dominated by wealthier/retired members of the congregations, because working class people can't afford to do it and often have to work weekends to look after the family.
Personally I think getting rid of the book study is pretty tragic. Meeting in each others' homes and having a cosy time together is/was one of the few really charming aspects about Witness life. If we are only going to meet each other in the Kingdom Hall and have less informal-type association then that is a major drawback in my view. Plus if I was still a believing member I would be very disappointed by this change. Just what sort of message is it sending out? That the meetings are not that important anymore? That we can slack off a bit? Hardly "faith strengthening"!
The public talk was reduced and now this. Next the Convention will probably be reduced to two days. Hell they might do away with Conventions altogether: do they make any money? I think with this and other changes in the past decade the Witnesses are truly starting to wind down. I don't know what the Governing Body is playing at or if they intend to slow things down but this will be the effect.