Christianity Today Mag- 32% of JW's leave

by jst2laws 16 Replies latest social current

  • jst2laws

    Jehovah's Witnesses are identified as the most "mobile" religious group in the US. This is based on the percentage of members who convert to, as well as the percentage that leave. JW's have the highest percentage in both catagories.

    Switched after Birth
    We're changing more than churches—also denoms and religions.

    If it seems most everyone in your church used to be "something else," they did. More than 33 million adults in the United States reported they had changed their religious identification or preference at some point in their lives, according to a study by the City University of New York. That's 16 percent of the total adult population. Demographers call this faith-shifting phenomenon "religious mobility," and it's on the rise.

    The U.S. population remains predominantly Christian. In 2001, 77 percent self-identified as Christian, although that number is down from 86 percent in 1990. The number of people identifying with any religion also declined in the same period, from 90 percent to 81 percent.

    While mainline Protestant groups are declining, evangelical and charismatic denominations are on the rise. Of those who identify themselves as "evangelical/born-again," 37 percent "switched" to the faith from another religion.

    Who's moving: The shift is greatest among mainliners, smaller faiths and sects. Jehovah's Witnesses are most "mobile." Accounting for less than 1 percent of American adults, one-third of their members leave the group, and two-fifths join from another religion.

    Implications for church leaders: Religious mobility means we cannot assume that members understand basic faith tenets, denominational distinctives, or heritage. But, that they've switched brands doesn't mean they'll sign up for history lessons. Heritage and distinctives must be communicated along with vision and goals in existing teaching venues and in church communiqués.

    Expect practices from other churches to seep into your system as leaders from other backgrounds join the team.

    And we must watch out for acronyms. Insider language creates outsiders and makes newcomers feel like strangers. Besides, who recalls what BYPU is anyway?

    —data from American Demographics (March 2003)

  • Kenneson

    Yes, many like us "apostates" come and go. I'm glad I'm no longer in the W.T. Society.

  • Yizuman

    Interesting story!

    Ahem! Anyone noticed something on the left of me?


  • blondie
  • Swan

    How much longer will it be before they can't go to door-to-door because the rest of the population will be former members that they have to shun? LOL!


  • shotgun

    Funny how JW's and SDV just can't seem to seperate themselves after all these years.

    Too bad the numbers were not 39% leave.

  • StinkyPantz


    I've wondered the same thing! LOL

  • RunningMan

    I'd like to see those numbers a few years into the future. With conversions down and defections up, the JWs stand to dominate this statistic for quite some time to come.

  • Gopher

    Why don't JW's retain more members?

    Simple. They don't care very deeply about their people. People are numbers.

    If some folks leave out the back door, don't worry we can rope a few more in and bring them in the front door.

    Put butts in the seats. Churn them in, churn them out. Just keep the publishing machine motoring. That will help pay for upkeep at the posh Patterson, NY Watchtower facilities.

  • run dont walk
    run dont walk

    congrats yizuman !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Share this