Dutch conventions organized like circuits
The big, exciting district conventions were one of the main things that kept me going through the drudgery of JWdom. I sort of lived for them and they gave me a boost to get through the next year. The smaller gatherings in smaller buildings just didn't have the same effect; they were boring, even sort of depressing at times.
Magnum, I felt exactly the same. I didn't feel encouraged because of the talks. What had a much stronger effect was sitting in the stadium, looking around at the big crowd and thinking that they all have my back. At least once a year I didn't feel like a minority. All of them believed the same as me, so it couldn't be wrong, could it?
I really think that many JWs will go home with a less "encouraged" feeling than the used to have.
By the way, I heard that they will do the same in Switzerland. They will build a convention hall in France and it will not hold space for all of them, so they will split up the conventions there as well. I don't know if it's true though.
Let's see what happens with attendance numbers. Witnesses were waiting the previous months to big Summer Conventions to see older friends, meet new brothers from other parts, the young ones used these special occasions to meet other young people...
So now, witnesses are going to limit their social circles even more to the 10-12 closer congregations in their area. From a financial point of view, it makes sense but it will affect how the rank and file see conventions.
Now young ones have no chance to get to Bethel because in most European countries there are no branches, they can't be special pioneers, now they don't have big conventions... I can't see how WT will motivate their young ones.
Schnufti: "I didn't feel encouraged because of the talks. What had a much stronger effect was sitting in the stadium, looking around at the big crowd and thinking that they all have my back. At least once a year I didn't feel like a minority. All of them believed the same as me, so it couldn't be wrong, could it?"
Yes, that's the point. I agree; it wasn't the talks. It was the crowd. It wasn't (isn't) the same as at a circuit assembly.
I remember the affect. I started seeing comrades at hotels upon first arriving in the area. We sort of came together and invaded a city. In the mornings, when trying to find a parking spot, we saw comrades everywhere. In the arena, there were thousands of us. When singing the songs, I looked around and felt strengthened by the large crowd of people who understood me and believed what I did. There was a loud buzz of chatter during breaks. It was exciting. What about meetings in smaller facilities....? Just not the same.
"At least once a year I didn't feel like a minority." JWs won't get that "once a year" feeling or boost when not meeting in the large venues. I know I've said it already in this thread, but I think it's worth repeating. This trend will add to the feelings of apathy and disillusionment and disappointment, I think the old-timers will really be disappointed.
Why are JWs intent on removing anything and everything remotely enjoyable? In this case large conventions in interesting locations.
They must be really short of money if they have to change so much but its all good for us ex jws
I remember reading in the bible that Jesus held large conventions to instruct his followers. He didn't charge them overheads, he didn't ask for donations, and he fed all in attendance.
it's the same in the north of France. 8 meetings of 1000 instead of a great one.
Yes I felt the same magnum looking out and seeing the crowd.
The last sort of glimmer of JW camaraderie I experienced was at Twickenham in 2014. 40,000/50,000 odd I think. Before that it was outdoor stadiums with about 8,000 to 12,000 so fairly sizeable. (Going way back to early Twickenham, Swindon, Southampton, Bournemouth and Cardiff in the 70's through 90's it was 10K to 30K and Wembley of 1969 with a peak of 80K)
It was wearing thin by then (2014) But that was the last jw camaraderie I experienced in the UK. After that it has been indoor arenas with less than 6,000. Souless dumps - but in 2015 and 2016 I was missing the Friday and this year I will probably show up just for the Sunday "to keep the peace".