Latest JW.org Statistics Are Confusing & Lack Context
'Ministers who teach the Bible' appear to include not only baptised publishers but also un-baptised publishers,
JW's have been counting it that way all time long since the time they have started to maintain stats. The ration of JWs to population has been counted the same way every year: Population/Peak Publishers.
In JW land, ministers who teach the bible (Publishers) refers to all JW's who go for field service and turn in reports. All unbaptized publishers are required to regularly go for preaching, conduct return visits and bible studies and turn in their monthly field service reports. So technically, unbaptized publishers too fall into the category of "Minsters who teach the Bible" and hence they include it in their numbers.
“Ministers who teach the Bible” is simply an upmarket way to talk up the number of peak publishers.
Compare the 2016 Service Report (found in the current Yearbook) and the figures for the “Ministers” and peak publishers are the same.
In JW land, ministers who teach the bible (Publishers) refers to all JW's who go for field service and turn in reports.
While I agree with you on who WT counted as "ministers who teach the bible", I don't necessarily agree that they were all considered as "JWs".
As a born in, 40+ year active "JW", I had always understood, a person wasn't considered to be an actual JW until becoming baptised. My SO confirmed that understanding. Although a person may fully believe and consider themself a JW, living their life as a JW including being active as an unbaptized publisher, they were not considered to be officially a JW but merely an 'associate' until baptism.
Using 'Ministers ...', especially the 'Peak' publisher number to represent JW numbers, seems to be a method to present there is a greater number of JWs than what WT would actually consider internally to be technically true.
Please consider, although you may have understood how things were done when you were an active JW, especially if an Elder, if you have been out of the organization for any length of time, in consideration to all the recent changes within the organization, statistical practices and procedures may have also changed. Since WT is so compartmentalized, those outside of that WT department, will likely not be advised as to changes.
As you may not agree and consider all Ministers as JWs, please explain why "un-baptised publisher" is designated differently than "baptised publisher".
I agree with you Incognito. Time was when unbaptised publishers were not designated as ministers by the organization.
I was pointing out earlier the equivalence on JW org of ministers and peak publishers and yes, it looks like an attempt to inflate the number of “ministers”.
I don't necessarily agree that they were all considered as "JWs".
Incognito, My reply was in the effect of how JW's counted their members in the annual statistics that are published in the yearbook. As far as I remember, since the time annual reports have been published, all baptized and unbaptized have been calculated in the Peak publishers figure. This way of counting has never changed. But I may be wrong, Please correct me.
Although a person may fully believe and consider themself a JW, living their life as a JW including being active as an unbaptized publisher, they were not considered to be officially a JW but merely an 'associate' until baptism.
I agree with you 100%. But my point was- Have JW's ever made this distinction while publishing their stats? Two counts- Baptized and Unbaptized?
Regarding classification, publishers are also classified into two groups- Inactive and Active and then Regular and Irregular. But they are not published that way.
statistical practices and procedures may have also changed
Yes, they may have changed. But then again- Peak publishers have included Baptized and Unbaptized since the past few decades. That was my point. And since the past few decades, whenever the Wt wanted to give the count of number of JW's in their literature , it has been the peak publishers count.
please explain why "un-baptised publisher" is designated differently than "baptised publisher".
Since this classification is not done for statistical purpose, the only reason is that they do this for their internal pastoral purpose. Like the active and inactive publishers categories.
If I remember correctly, in a yearbook published in the late '70s or early '80s was a chart showing the number of publishers for the previous several years. I think it showed a decrease for the years following 1975, finally followed by an increase.
I believe, however, the caption said there had been a steady increase, which claim wasn't supported by the chart. It bothered me that the yearbook appeared to be twisting the facts, trying to give the impression that the disappointments concerning 1975 had not caused a decline in publishers.
Is there anyone with access to the old yearbooks who could check this out?
Justme2: Is there anyone with access to the old yearbooks who could check this out?
Here you go. This is your very own "access to the old yearbooks":
Look under "books" and you will find the yearbooks. Search for the years that you think the chart that you want to access could be in.
The 1981 Yearbook, pp. 31-32, states that Jehovah's Witnesses made "steady progress" in the years from 1974-1980 and it was only the number of Memorial partakers that decreased. Their chart, however, shows that in the years following 1975 there was a decrease in the average number of publishers, pioneers, and hours spent in the ministry. It was only after 2 or 3 years of decrease that the numbers started increasing again.
This claim of steady increase that was belied by the Yearbook's own chart upset me in 1981, and I've remembered it to this day. It seemed as though the Society were trying to get us to not actually see what the evidence showed and instead to take it for granted that it backed up their claims.
I was unable to reproduce the graph here. It can be found at http://www.watchtowerwayback.org/jw-wb/English/Books/Yearbooks/1981%20Yearbook%20(yb81-E).pdf.
Thanks again to OrphanCrow for the link.