ruderedhead: Shirley, I was a d2d convert, and the cog. I was in at the time had 3 more(women) who were also d2d converts. I knew of 1 other in another cong. But that was back in the mid 80's!
Do you think that was normal for the time, or were we just guillible housewives w children? I think today most people will research easily on the web before getting involved, and I know I personally today would show them the door after showing them how misguided their beleifs are!
I think it was more normal for that time. Back then, the religion seemed more scholarly and dignified, and all the crazy, deceptive history was hidden. Also, there was the old generation teaching which made far more sense than the new one. With the old teaching at that time, there was the excitement generated by the belief that the 1914 generation time period was up, so the end must be near.
Now there is no such excitement, JWdom is dumbed down, the crazy history is easily accessible, the unprovable doctrines are easily challenged, etc. So now it would be abnormal to find so many who came in from the field. You yourself said that you wouldn't have come in if your exposure to JWdom had been at this point in time.
So the days of bringing in people from the field are, I believe, largely over - at least in the developed world. The ones they might get are for the most part going to be from the bottom of society - the less educated, the socially awkward, etc.
sir82: I'm virtually certain that the number of English-speaking JWs in the US has been decreasing for at least 5 years, maybe more. The nominal growth in the US comes from foreign-language congregations, primarily Spanish. And even that is slowing down.
Even though there are still small increases in most nations, I'm convinced we'll see gross reductions in the number of publishers in the US & all of the 1st world before the decade is out.
I've been thinking the same thing.