Reasons for Stagnation in Growth. AKA YearBook Numbers!
So why has the growth flatlined? Why is less time spent in the ministry? Why have Aux Pios droped by 1/3rd?
Contributing factors - do you agree?
1) JW Broadcasting - When the R&F see the man behind the curtain (Morris and Lett) WOW talk about loss of confidence.
2) The Systematic demolition of being a teaching organization.
- starting with the elimination of the book study at homes, the org has progressively destroyed every avenue to help (especially elders) to become teachers. Now event the TMS is gone. How can people be effective teachers when they are not given any help at all.
3) Cart witnessing - So I know lots of people who love it, especially pioneers. Why? Because you don't do ANYTHING! Sit in the car and wait for your turn to stand and do nothing. NO ONE talks to you. So Lots of Field Service Hrs, with WORSE results than the ineffective House 2 House ministry.
4) Constant campaigns with flyers - Really we cant get people across the street for a Kingdom hall to cross over to a meeting, and handing out a flyer will get someone to drive across the state to go to a Convention? Really?? Again lots of time wasted in a Futile Effort.
5) Happy are the poor - with the lack of education, and pretty much only kids and already poor people getting baptized, I would imagine many people have to work 2 jobs to make ends meet.
6) Apathy - People have better things to do on Saturday morning, and no one goes out on Sunday.
What do you think?
- Aux Pioneers. I am sure the high number last year is simply a spike due to the campaigns.
Overall I don't think the flat line is particularly due to what the WTS has done. I think it's actually two fold.
1 - R&F getting tired. Less enthusiasm. Smaller number of people really care about the ministry
2 - The main reason.... the growth outside of the West has slowed. For years the figures have been skewed by regional growth that has hidden the malaise in the West. Now that growth is reducing then the rot becomes far clearer.
To be fair (2) is a hypothesis. I am just hoping I will get some time to process the data and prove it.
Why have Aux Pios dropped by 1/3rd?
I wonder if the org. will make a change to be able to make Aux. Pio. even easier now. Have the arrangement available 'every' month? Make a provision for "Regular' Aux. Pio.?
Since baptisms are dropping so much, will they make it easier to get baptized. Maybe not require all those baptisms questions? Just answer the two questions at baptism?.
1. Agreed - we've seen many new ones on the forum cite one broadcast or another as their final straw. This is definitely having, at best, a polarizing effect on the R/F.
2. Probably not so much. For one thing the TMS getting eliminated happened after the end of the service year so it would have no impact on numbers. The elimination of bookstudy probably has had a small impact, but not because people are unhappy with the reduced emphasis on teaching, but more because there's less indoctrination and that will allow a few to break free.
3. Agreed - When the cart witnessing was introduced I didn't know TTATT, but it struck me as very cult-like and seemed like busy work that would not be productive at all. This, along with the general apathy about being productive in the ministry, was difficult to reconcile with the idea that we're preaching to save lives and that its the most important work to be done.
4. Not sure. I think a lot of JWs get caught up in the "easy time" that they get from just dropping off flyers and not having to talk to people as much that they don't realize how stupid the whole affair is. Maybe those who are seriously doubting already, but this doesn't seem like one of those things that would be someone's final straw.
5. Not sure on this one either. I don't know that I would say that JWs have gotten any poorer in the last few years, so I don't think this really accounts for the stagnation/decline. If anything I've seen more and more JWs pursuing better jobs because, on some level, they're aware of the possibility that the cult could be wrong about the nearness of armageddon.
6. Definitely. There's always new and more interesting things going on in the world and the "distractions" will only grow while the cult recruitment stays largely the same. Another aspect of the apathy, I think, is that the response from the ministry is dwindling to nothing. No one likes to feel like they're wasting their time, and when someone does feel that they are the typical response is to give up.
Gayle - I am sure the Pio and Aux pio time requirements will go down. The always do.
I pioneered when it was 90 - that was HARD, and you got beat up if you missed your time.
The only reason they can keep the # of pios is because of dropping the time. P.S. A good number of Pios are actually reporting almost no time. They are on the "infermed list", there are 3 in my congregation. Also a large number never make their time. I know only a few do it in my hall.
It has been considered here before that maybe the org wants to downsize. Cut out unprofitable congregations and sell off their Kingdom Halls.
The WTBTS was doomed from the start. I'm surprised it's still in existence. It has long outlived its sell-by date.
The very deliberate efforts of the WTBTS leaders to 1) hide information about its failings, and 2) hide information about the outside world, are the only reason it has lasted this long.
The old-timers of the past are all but gone. The Information Age has also come to pass. The WTBTS most certainly did not see that coming. The Information Age is a death-blow to cults. That is why the WTBTS villainized the Internet. If a R&F is treated harshly or becomes disillusioned as the GB's predictions continue to fail, they just have to get on the Internet. This is so completely new, that we may not even fully recognize the effects for decades. Heck, I found the most damning information, that being past WTBTS literature, on the Internet!
Why is growth stagnating? The old time, non Internet users are dying off. Time is flowing, exposing lies and corruption. Sure, it takes decades, but it's happening. With each passing generation, the loyal get dumber. They are more likely to willfully remain ignorant and to practice intellectual dishonesty, which is actually unethical and immoral. With leaders coming from this weakened gene-pool, is it any wonder that growth has all but stopped?
Add to this, the fact that dissenters are getting smarter and tired of bull-shit. The real question is whether or not the new propaganda can retain enough followers while the Internet exposes the cult.
I would imagine that in 20 years, the WTBTS will have the lowest membership that Gen X-ers have ever seen. They will be lucky to keep their contaminated HQ running.
I agree with many points above. IMHO they have abandoned their core values of teaching, Bible Education and ministry training. The cancellation of the home based Group Study Meeting was the start . If you are lucky your cong will include you in social gatherings but if not then you are just a seat filler at the Hall with no contacts.
They seem to think that people will swarm to their website, but really? Who will do so unless you have a really good reason, or are a critic like us?
Untrained youths who only know how to give out leaflets , and themselves don't know a lot , are less likely to stay.
Never mind the showy broadcasts, perhaps it is time to get back to basics....
To summarize the general population and a good portion of devout JWS are starting realize the JWS/WTS is and has been a commercialized fraud composed strategically in supposedly preaching the Gospel.
The Gospel propagated by the WTS. is not the Gospel of the bible or the teachings of Jesus Christ.
This is the Achilles heel that the WTS is going to try and over come in the imminent future.
Good list. I think many things contribute. The organization has cancer in a way, those determined to stay in are doing their best but the information age, the confusing, rapid changing ever less relevant doctrine, and repackaging are eating at anyone allowing themselves to be honest. It has to be the most exhausting fight faithful witnesses have ever had to put up. Fighting the truth for "The Truth". I think like termites quietly the structure is getting eaten away at, it may not be super visible from the members and looking in, but I think its in a lot worse shape than we think!