More congregations? One of the strategies they used to inflate the numbers in my city.
These are contradictory things, so which one is it. Are they money hungry so they are forcing people to travel longer distances to that they can sell the property or are they number-centric and they just make congregations everywhere to inflate the congregations number?
If you read my previous post, it seems to be to be both, not contradictory, but spinning the congregations numbers, moving the congregations around from time to time, AND selling off halls. Filled halls, with new faces in a move to a different hall, make the people feel like it is really growing, right?
Also, host congregation is the only one counted? Then why have there been at least three congregations called by their original name ( from their former hall) and hold meetings at different times. They share a hall, but are considered separate congregations from the way my MIL speaks about it.
Host congregations and language groups do not have to have their meetings together. In fact as a language group develops they will first hold different meetings or parts of meetings separately. They are only counted as a different congregation when they receive a unique congregation number. The congregation number is what differentiates formed congregations. If a congregation is dissolved that dissolved congregation is no longer part of the count of overall numbers of congregations.
Though there is at least one Spanish language congregation at the hall, it was majority English speaking congregations.
So what I am seeing happening here is entire congregations, and each counted as such, being moved out of halls to be sold off, placed together in an existing hall, now being split up and the congregations status "changed" when they share the new congregation.Thus, creating more congregations in the process.
Not to be absorbed, as far as I know, but to be called a new, different congregation to share an existing hall. I believe some congregations were split up and each getting a different congregation name, then assigned to an existing hall to share.
The part most upsetting to my MIL and others are the longer distances, and the high crime areas to which they have been assigned. Not to mention the fact they, as a congregation, had land donated to them long ago for a new hall, and had the congregation donating and raising enough money over many years to begin the build when it was all whisked away from them.
I appreciate the desire for specific data to back up theories. I really don't know if there is really a strategy to inflate the number of congregations. I have not seen enough proof. But a post from Germany not long ago piqued my interest. It was an analysis of the number of German language congregations compared to foreign. The numbers seemed to indicate the drop in German congregations was masked by formation of foreign congregations. I'm not good with the search function, so I can't pull it up.
My observation involves only two kingdom halls. Both are in the western US, in separate states. I can confirm that each of these small congregations are full fledged congregations with their own bodies of elders, separate from the English congregations. But that is only 2 congregations out of 119,000 worldwide.
My opinion is that most people in foreign language and ASL are honestly deluded and sincerely want to help disadvantaged foreigners in their communities. If there are ulterior motives, it could be to make busy work for the more zealous drones, and to massage the egos of some who enjoy bragging rights of working where the need is greater. Each additional congregation opens up positions of perceived power, at least on the Service Committee. Three more elders, three more Elderettes.
Dreamerdude. The reason why I ask for language and general location is because it is very easy to confirm if it is an actual congregation or not by just going onto their website and putting in the language and the area and if that congregation comes up with nothing attached to it such as "other meetings held in" then that is confirmation that it is a full fledge congregation, but if it doesn't and it comes up with that statement then most likely it is a group.
Bingo Dreamerdude. My thoughts exactly. The desire for those elder positions, etc, are more available when the congregations are split. This only creates more" zealousness", correct?
Richard, I don't trust WT as much as I do the people in the local halls. I found out by meeting with the locals and asking them point blank. In both cases they had previously used the main hall and were bummed out to be relegated to the back room with a 6" stage.
Njwspouse, correct about the push toward zealousNess. I have seen many a young man burned out by it.
The number of congregations has never been a statistic that JWs have especially trumpeted
I live in a very very multicultural and multilingual land. Over here, the growth/numbers of other/foreign language congregations have always been trumpeted (as opposed to the mainstream language congs). It is commonly perceived here as a sign of interest among the speakers of those languages, and the fact that no one is left out of their preaching effort. The last talk in the assembly always highlights their new groups/congregations/circuits formed, as well as the assemblies held by those new congregations (especially if it is their first).
That said, one constant with the watchtower is that it uses different politic tactics to fit different contexts (we're talking about a global organization here). They maintain a system which benefits their interest until they find another way to maximize them.
So, no, the two realities are not mutually exclusive.