It's just the ebb and flow within an overall trend. The trend can only really be observed over time and these figures will do nothing but reinforce the consistent evidence that baptisms are a very low proportion of reported active Witnesses. Anyone still attending can also attest to the fact that the majority of getting baptised are born-ins as well.
Some recent baptism figures in the UK - is there a "bounce back"?
The last one day assembly there were 850 present and 1 born-in baptized. I believe the trend is downward.
I gather it is because I am 50 and was a JW back in the 1980s, but...
If we had numbers like that in my day, we would know we had lost Jehovah's backing. The slogan in the New World Society (what we called ourselves back then or "the Society" for short) was that "an increase was surely a sign that the end was upon us" and "a sign of Jehovah's blessing." These current tiny numbers would have been interpreted as either doom for us (because it would be interpreted to be a signal that we were suffering spiritual drought and lost Jehovah's favor) or that all the members were in sin because Jehovah didn't give them the spirit needed to make disciples. Mass defellowshippings would have been in order because only people living in disgusting sin would prevent God from producing at least the average number of new baptism candidates. What were these numbers?
The average in my day was 97 new baptisms for every 1000 in attendance. Yep, that was the average. Because "faithful Witnesses" held off having children since the end was sure to come before the 21st century could even begin, baptizing "born-ins" was not thought of. When children of JWs got baptized it was "nice," but they weren't the real influx and "sign" that we had Jehovah's favor and that the end was coming "any day now." If we only had "born-ins" to baptize, we would have claimed that the preaching work was over and Jehovah had "closed the door to the modern-day ark."
Dear JWs of today:
You would have all been disfellowshipped as unfaithful apostates and failures in my day. If these numbers are considered "increases," then we would have gathered you all had secret sins that was stifling Jehovah's spirit from working in you.
We weren't consolidating our Kingdom Halls back then either. In fact, the need for new Halls was so great that we had "two-day miracle" programs where we practically built a new Kingdom Hall over the period of a weekend. We couldn't keep up, the growth and need was so great!
We didn't have to "lay-off" Bethel workers or make due with more consolidation because we needed to use the funds better. Jehovah was obviously blessing us with plenty of funds and leaders who knew how to handle everything...enough that we left you current idiots with an well-oiled organization that in our day was self-sustaining.
And why are there "simplified" versions of Watchtower study articles? We had "meat in due season," with in-depth study books that were laden with Scriptures, words, and little-to-no illustrations. We didn't go to college, and most of our number never finished high school, yet we didn't need any simplified literature...in any language. What's your excuse?
And what we studied we also distributed door-to-door. We didn't say "come to us," like you today with your website of JW streaming channel (which we would never have done since Jehovah and the Governing Body then taught us that all TV evangelism was Satanic and we would never even give the impression that we were being like the world or following the Devil)! We went to the people, not telling them to come to us like we judged Christendom for doing.
And we would have disciplined you if you merely stood on a street corner next to a bunch of literature. How lazy can you be? We taught our people how to preach, how to get through to people when they ignored you, how to be an actual witness for the Most High God. We didn't just wear a button that said: "Go to our website which will explain everything." We could, each of us, explain everything ourselves!
And finally, you left Brooklyn. In our day we knew that Jehovah gave us a sign that we would be there till the end came. Today you have left. If I, a former member of the anointed remnant, had been in a coma from say 1989 and woke up today, I would have mustered up the courage to proclaim all of you heretics, from the Governing Body on down to every follower of theirs. You folks don't even know how to inherit a faith. You idiots changed everything.
Why do you have no money? Why are you consolidating? Why did they kick out faithful Bethel workers? Why do you have to point people to JW.org and watch your Governing Body on TV? Because you are too weak to preach yourselves, to simple to learn anything in-depth, and can't move forward in faith. You have to "see" your leaders and "hear" them, not realizing they have turned you into followers of man.
That is why numbers over "5" are being considered a "bounce back"! This is not a "bounce back," but a death knell! It's over. You've gone the way of Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. And I told you idiots that was going to happen, and that we would be here past 2014 and that would grow up to age over 40. I'm 50 now, it's about to be 2017, and you are still here in this "system of things" like I told you. I'm better at foretelling the future than the "spirit guided" Governing Body!
I'm glad I realized this was all false in the 1990s and left before I saw this happen around me. I can't even rejoin you if I wanted to because nothing I left behind exists anymore. You had to change everything so much because you need to put up a lot of distractions to keep you from realizing that after over 100 years, the end can definitely not be "around the corner" anymore.
A "bounce back"? Yeah, right. More like the last few final gasps!
An excellent post!
Thanks for the slap upside of the head. I'm a little older than you and all you say is so true. I hope you are right again - I'd like to hope that this tiny increase in local baptisms is like the final twitchings in 1945 of the talons of the Nazi eagle.
@ Hernandez ^^^^^
Never a truer word spoken / written
The Organisation and its current leadership today is nothing in comparison to what we experienced in the 80 / 90's.
W.ORG ! ..... you might as well bow down to the 'golden calf' in the days of the ancient Israelites.
PS: My post is not aimed at those who came afterward afterward as they are possibly none the wiser.
We need to remember that it is not baptism figures that are important, but rather average publisher figures. After all if 100 got baptised in one circuit in one year, but 100 publishers left the org, the figure would be 0% increase.
Quick figures from Britain:
Average Publishers -
After all if 100 got baptised in one circuit in one year, but 100 publishers left the org, the figure would be 0% increase.
The JWS's baptisms particularly in the US, Canada and the UK seem to be declining.
The realization that the WTS has been a commercialized corrupt fraud of a religoius publishing house is spreading around the world, ironically centralized in the very country where it was founded, the US.
The realization that the WTS has been a commercialized corrupt fraud of a religoius publishing house is spreading around the world, ironically centralized in the very country where it was founded, the US
No, I think as a 'mature' religion, having operated in Britain for a good 100 years, it's reached it's natural plateau.
For those interested, if Britain had continued on a 5% increase for the 30 years since 1985 - the JW's would have 420,000 publishers in Britain alone by now (ie 66% more than they currently claim)
On the other hand, it might not be due to the plateau effect, because....
Globally in the 1985 Yearbook, the WT was reporting average publishers of 2,680,297 with a 7.1% annual increase - if that increase had continued the WT would now be reporting 20,982,974 publishers worldwide rather than the 7,987,279 (which interestingly is pretty close to that 66% figure again hmmm)
(That's compound annual interest of 5% on 97,370 over 30 years - http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/compoundinterestcalculator.php#form2 ditto for global figures)
So then what is the effectual circumstances of the lack of baptisms in North America ?
People within the JW organization as well the general public can see now that the WTS was involved in pretentious charlatanism as a religious publishing house.
People are scrutinizing this organization from its long as you say mature history and not like what they see and hear.