Lately I'm just not buying their official numbers. I've since waken up I've been noticing that a lot of their changes have actually inflated their numbers. Let me explain:
First, a study got changed to 15 minutes or less as long as it happened 3 times. I remember when a study wasn't a study until you got invited into their house and had an hour long discussion with the person every week. The person had to be very interested to qualify for a study. I'm sure a lot of you will remember that from back in the day. Now, you can count a study if you've met with the person 3 times! It can be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes! As long as you've had a literature discussion three times, you can start counting it as a study. Has their number of studies actually gone up by how much they claim or did how they count a study add a huge boost to the numbers?
Secondly, they did changes to publishers and counting time. First, they say you can now count only 15 minutes a month. Can you imagine anyone trying to explain to an elder that they can't witness 15 minutes a month? It doesn't matter if you're dying of illness, in a nursing home, fading, or stuck at home. You have no excuse not to count 15 minutes per month. I'd love to see how many active publishers alone that change added. You also have had a push for younger baptisms in the last few years. How much of this 2% growth is actually just young kids getting baptized because they are pressured by their peers, parents and elders? It use to not be considered a good idea to baptize young. We are going to start seeing this pushed more and more! An inflation of numbers.
Third, they love to go off of "peak publishers" in their reports. What exactly is "peak publishers"? I'm assuming it's the most they had at any given month during the year, maybe they don't include DF ones or inactive ones until later in the year? I really don't know but I do know that if I planned my yearly finances on my "peak income" I'd be in deep trouble the remaining 11 months out of the year! They are providing a very biased and inflated number!
In my congregation alone, in the last calendar year we had 2 baptized. 1 a born in and the other has witness family (high pressure). But, we've had 3 died, 1 completely leave, 3DF and 1 or 2 that went inactive. That's just my hall! I am hearing very similar situations for various other halls.
It is boggling my mind how there is any growth what so ever in the US! From my observations something is not adding up! I remember huge lines of people being baptized and the assemblies and conventions. Our last assembly had like 4 total! Our last convention didn't even have that many! Something is fishy with their statistics.
Have they secretly stopped removing DF ones from their numbers?