Are the halls of the Kingdom filling up, are they the same as before the pandemic or are they emptying?

by LaFrancia 33 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LaFrancia

    I open a new topic, to find out how it's going in your area. From what I see as a Southern European in my constituency the situation is patchy.

    The congregation where I am now has 30% old people on Zoom but also young couples with almost all their cameras off. No increase but a slight decrease in the total number of publishers.

    Circuit assemblies: Before Covid you couldn't find a free seat if you arrived 10 minutes before the start. Now you can arrive late and find many empty seats. We no longer show the video before the summer meeting where it was said to leave the seats free and not rush to grab the seats, it is no longer needed there are many empty ones...:-)))

    A nearby congregation had 60% on zoom at times. Another congregation less than 5% on zoom and the room returned to the situation before covid.

    The trend is downward in my area and patchy with exceptions

  • blondie

    I'm surprised so many people are still on "zoom." The elders have been given instructions to vet each request to see if valid reason and there is some "password" you have to get from them. Like they did when there were phone connections.

  • JW GoneBad
    JW GoneBad

    The name Watchtower and the name Jehovah’s Witnesses for decades have been synonymous with the words cult, toxic, cruel, harsh...words in that vein. Today another word that is synonymous with WT & JWs is 'decline'. Adults and families are no longer drawn to this dangerous organization.

    WT is no longer expecting growth from an outside source...the general public. No, currently WT is banking on it's growth to come from within...toddlers & children. They've been heavily investing in children indoctrination for the past 10 to 15 years.

    Watchtower also stopped investing in facilities (Kingdom Halls) that at one time could accommodate gatherings or congregations of upwards of 200+ members. Today large Kingdom Halls are being sold off due to low meeting attendance or due to congregations, for whatever reason, that are shrinking in size. Where it is not feasible to sell off large Kingdom Halls, WT is restructuring surrounding congregations...merging & consolidating them for the appearance of fuller attendance and eliminating numerous non-performing congregations in the process resulting in many disgruntled JW rank and file having to travel longer distances to attend in-person meetings.

    Much smaller Kingdom Halls, where warranted are being built that will accommodate much smaller congregations...75 members or less.

    So back to the opening post questions:

    Are Kingdom Halls filling-up? No!

    Are Kingdom Halls emptying? Yes!

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    They make the khalls look like they're filling up.

    By taking out seats & amalgamating congregations.

  • LongHairGal


    From what I have heard the halls are emptier than ever.. I am a long time ‘Fader’ who had gone to a funeral talk within the last decade and was shocked at how empty my old hall was!

    As far as all those Zoom cameras that are turned off: ..some Witnesses had problems with nervy busybodies commenting on something hanging on the wall in their house! ..Also, catty and unwanted remarks were made about people’s appearance… Who needs this?? ..I certainly never would have tolerated this intrusiveness.

    Maybe Zoom is good in conference room settings - but not so much in someone’s home.

    My opinion on Zoom used by the JWs: uninvited people looking into somebody else’s home was not a good thing and I was proved right.. Hence most of the cameras are now wisely turned off!

  • Varuaino

    I agree with everything said above just wanted to add something about Zoom.

    My camera is off because why would I wear suit and ties when I can just lay in my bed relaxing during meetings 😁

  • DesirousOfChange
    I'm surprised so many people are still on "zoom."

    I'm not surprised. I know of some JWs who still zoom despite the fact that they could easily attend in person as they have no limitations or disabilities, etc. BUT, Zoom (with their camera off) allows them to simply APPEAR to be in attendance for meetings while in reality, they are paying no attention to the meeting and doing whatever else they need/want to do.

  • Vidiot

    One thing Covid and Zoom revealed that I think surprised everyone…

    …there seems to be a lot more PIMOs than any of us - JWs or XJWs - ever expected.

  • ukpimo

    Where I'm based, the Kingdom Hall is nearly full on Sundays for every congregation that meets at the Hall. On midweek meeting days, only half the congregations generally meet, unless people have assignments lots tend to opt into the Zoom link up. It appears that most have more zeal for the meetings than ministry, as there is an average of 3 people out most groups in every congregation where I live. The waters are drying up. Tick your box, be a cool enough witness and everyone thinks you're ok. It's not good. The Governing Body have long lost their control and the only way to regain it is to reform to a more familial atmosphere as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, without the stereotypical overly righteous 'spiritually strong' brothers and sisters micromanaging the congregation. The influx of new believers who are dreadfully weak spiritually as well as the major shift from a deep and studious biblical Organization to a "get baptised quick and be loyal to the Organization" type of Organization has proven that the current Governing Body have killed the standard their forebears kept up for decades, all of Freddie Franz's teachings have virtually been eliminated except for a few remaining nods to the past.

    The lame excuse "oh, society has changed now, no one wants to read books anymore" is pathetic. If they don't want to read, teach them how to do so and make them enjoy it! The travesty of today's society is reliance on quick reads through internet pages. It's destroyed our comprehension and learning skills, and always being on comment forums like this spoils in-person communication skills. Society is indeed to blame, but the only way to combat it is not to reform and become just like them, instead the public needs to be re-educated to become students of the Bible if they so wish. And if they refuse, then JWs have at least made an effort to provide the practical skills needed for people to studiously read comprehensive material. However, it seems that over-simplification is the norm for today's Governing Body. Too bad for them.

  • LaFrancia

    From what I have heard and seen, the halls are emptying not at great speed, but for Jehovah's Witnesses who are always accustomed to growing and building new kingdom halls and forming new congregations it is a great blow and defeat.

    The situations are patchy, but in general just look at the official numbers: congregations are decreasing, baptisms are decreasing, 70% of them are children born in. But obviously we still don't have the decline of the Catholic Church because we have the elders who watch over the flock and keep them in line. It's not just Zoom, there's a lot more awareness that the JW system no longer holds up and people are leaving or cooling off. We have recently reinstated 3 disfellowshipped brothers, but 4 elderly brothers have died, and no one has been baptized at the assemblies for at least 4 years. Nearby 2 congregations were closed and merged with others. There is no growth but a slow emptying and there are no new ones entering, very rare.

    Also in my congregation we have 3 new inactives, and in the congregation next to ours, two families have dissociated themselves by sending a letter with the reasons

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