Question for SBF

by Fisherman 192 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TD


    They are much more successful than the Mormons for example. They have been around 50 years less than the Mormons and yet have about twice as many active members.

    According to the respective websites of the two religions:

    The LDS church currently claims 15,882,417 members / 30,304 congregations.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses currently claim 8,340,982 members / 119,485 congregations.

    You're a pretty diligent researcher, so I'm assuming there's a reason why the self-reported statistics are that far off. --Maybe it hinges on the definition of "active member?"

  • slimboyfat

    Yes Mormon activity rates average around 30%, making about 4.5 million active members worldwide.

  • slimboyfat
    “The majority of members on church records are inactive or less active. Approximately 30% of worldwide membership was active as of 2012, suggesting that 30% of members attended church regularly and followed most basic church teachings…The ten countries with the most members account for 79% of worldwide membership and experience an average member activity rate of 22%…” –, Matt Martinich
  • slimboyfat

    To put it even more dramatically, even the 20 million who attended the JW memorial are more active than the inactive "members" of the Mormon church, the majority of whom never attend a Mormon church at all.

    The Mormon church counts every single person who has ever been baptised as a member of the church, regardless of whether they attend or whether they still believe in the church. Mormons can only be removed from the membership total if they write a letter to the church renouncing membership, which relatively few ever do. If you stop attending church they still count you. If you attend a different church they still count you. If you move and they lose touch with you they still count you. They still count you until you are 115. Only then are you removed from the membership total and presumed likely dead.

  • joe134cd

    Just adding further to SBF comments. The LDS general conference which is comparable to the JW memorial got an attendance last year of 16 million. The jw memorial was attended by 20 mill. Interestingly the Seventh day Adventists church claims a membership of 20 million members. I would be guessing here but I would say all 3 American denominations would be be around 20 mill a pop. Bear in mind the 8.3 mill jw members would be quite different to lds / SDA member.

  • slimboyfat

    That's interesting, where do you get a figure for attendance at general conference? Mormons I was talking to told me they sometimes watch general conference at home on the television. They don't necessarily need to go to church.

    Which makes me wonder actually. Are people listening on the phone counted as attending the memorial these days I wonder?

  • joe134cd

    At the 20:35 min mark

  • darkspilver

    slimboyfat: Which makes me wonder actually. Are people listening on the phone counted as attending the memorial these days I wonder?


    I understand that the underlying key principle is: If the person is listening or viewing the congregation meeting LIVE, as it happens, either 'in-person' or via an 'audio link', then they are counted as meeting attendees. BUT if they listen or watch a recording of the meeting at a later time then they are NOT counted.

    The audio link may also include video and may be provided by hard-wiring, the telephone, the radio, or by the internet. The important principle is that they must be listening to the congregation meeting LIVE - this therefore has provided a strong incentive for congregations to introduce telephone/internet links in order to 'increase' the meeting 'attendance' (!)

    Of course the congregation themselves may be listening to a recording (ie the 2018 Special Talk video) - but those listening in via an audio link would be counted as congregation meeting attendees provided they listen to the same recording live along with their congregation and using the congregation's own 'tie-in' facility.

    If a person 'time-shifts' the meeting by listening to a recording at another time, then they are NOT counted. Some congregation (used to?) record the meetings (on a tape or something?) and give them afterwards those unable to attend (such as the elderly or the ill) so they could be listened to later - none of these people would be included in the meeting attendance figure/s.

    There are a number of bespoke KH 'live listening' solutions available and they generally allow you to input the number of people listening on a particular device or telephone (ie, if there was a husband and wife together, they could listen using one device, but input the figure '2', so that the congregation could have an 'accurate' count.)

    For the Memorial the same principles apply. I understand that the 'exception' would be with partakers.

    If a partaker was unable to attend the congregation's Memorial, AND was unable to listen live, they would NOT be counted as an attendee. BUT the elders would visit the same evening, after sundown, have a brief scriptural discussion and allow them to partake of the emblems - they would then be counted as a Memorial partaker for that congregation (but NOT as a Memorial attendee).I would expect this to be a fairly rare occurrence effecting only a few, and some elder bodies may decide to 'fudge' it and include them as attendees anyway as they counted as partaking - I don't think this is a big issue considering the presumably very low numbers involved.

    (TBH, with the increase in the use of telephone link-ins, I would expect a publisher / elder to sit with the (ill?) partaker at their home and help them to be able to listen LIVE to the Memorial together (and therefore be counted as attendees) and then either have their own emblems for the partaker to use at the same time as the congregation, or for the elders to visit with the emblems afterwards.)

  • Incognito
    For the Memorial the same principles apply. - DarkS

    Except for anyone listening-in via telephone or watching live video, wouldn't have opportunity to be offered the emblems.

    Since the offering and passing of the proper emblems is such an important component to the ceremony, can those not there truly be considered to be in attendance?

  • slimboyfat

    Two years on, I’m not sure we are much wiser what is going on with Watchtower finances.

    Cutbacks continue and legal payouts loom larger than they did a couple of years ago, yet the organisational panic surrounding finances seems to have dissipated.

Share this