That is why for the past year or so the Society has been pushing hard the 'Family Worship' program in an attempt to stem the tide. Sadly many C.O.s have expressed concern saying that 60% or more of JW families are not having 'family worship' night.
The family worship night issue is just another example of the utter failure of imagination and leadership.
The concept of a family worship night came after the announcement of the end of the bookstudy arrangement. OK, I know, it is still a 'meeting', but it is sandwiched in and shortened.
The whole point of the bookstudy meeting was that it was usually in small homes; it was the favorite meeting of every person I knew. You might get a sour location sure, but you might get that rare gem: the bookstudy where EVERY week there was snacks, treats, coffee and fellowship after.
The bookstudy was VITAL, the GB said, because it was a micro congregation; this was the group you would go to when we were persecuted.
And of course, though they never said this, the bookstudy at a private home was most similar to the early 'households' of faith, the earliest congregations of Jesus' followers.
THEN they just dump the meeting, including in the termination notice the fact that gas prices were high. What?? What about all those sacrifices people made to attend meetings in Africa, the outback? They walked for miles one way to get to meeting. So here in the US gas prices rise to not even what it costs in Canada or Europe, and now we dump the meeting?
Later they talk about the fact that it will free up one night in overused halls around the US; NOW we get the real reason.
And then even later they tell us to use the night for 'family worship'.
The termination was mishandled from beginning to end, they fibbed about why they were doing it, and the family worship night was flogged as being the reason they did it.
Why didn't they take some time before they made the move, and trumpet the family worship night as the reason?
Because they completely lack imagination and leadership qualities.