With all of this organizational structure, and huge amounts of labor, you would think that they would be converting people in droves. Well, this is just not the case. For example, let’s take a look at the statistics from my home country, Canada.
Last year (2001), there were 107,218 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada. They reported 18,544,473 hours of field service. This activity resulted in 2,030 new baptisms. Now, let’s calculate their efficiency.
Each Witness averaged 173 hours in field service during the year. Every baptism came as a result of 9,135 hours of reported activity. Another way of stating this is that it took 53 JW person-years of activity to generate one baptism. This does not seem terribly efficient, but it is really just the tip of the iceberg.
If you attend a Jehovah’s Witness convention, you will find that the majority of their newly baptized members are not converts from outside the organization. Approximately 90% of them are children of their own members. It is not necessary to canvass from door to door in order to contact your own children. So, of those 2,030 baptisms last year, only about 200 of them represent actual converts.
Now let’s rerun the calculation, using more realistic numbers. Each convert came as a result of 91,352 hours of field service activity, or 529 person-years. This seems to be a grossly inefficient use of labor.
How many doors must JW’s knock on, in order to make a convert? Well, that depends on the type of activity. If a Witness is conducting a Bible study, then one call could take a full hour, or possibly even more. If that same person is canvassing new territory, then 20 or 30 calls could be made in an hour. If we make the assumption that each hour of field service generates five house calls, then 456,760 doors must be approached to find one convert. Since the average Canadian household contains 2.6 persons, then a total population of almost 1.2 million must be contacted in order to make one Jehovah’s Witness convert.
But, it gets even worse than this. I have given them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that all 203 of these converts came as a result of the door to door work. Really, many of them came into contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses through informal methods, such as friends, relatives, and coworkers.