Is attendance down in your location too?

by StarryNight9 90 Replies latest jw friends

  • smiddy3

    Clearly numbers in this congregation or that congregation either going up or down is no indication of whether the Jehovah`s witnesses are either in a decline or in an expansion .

    In whatever country you are living in its going to fluctuate here there or anywhere.

    Jehovah`s Witnesses are typically a moving population or they certainly were when I was in more than 25 years ago.

    Figures now compared to 10 , 15 or 20 years ago are the only benchmarks you should go on otherwise its just a waste of time.

  • snugglebunny
  • 2+2=5

    In Australia, I’d say about 20% of the current JW population will be dead within 10-15 years, that will see attendances down.

    Unfortunately I know of at least 2 elderly JWs who will probably leave estates worth millions of dollars to the WTS when they die.

  • newdawnfades

    It was very low at my local congregation on Sunday I’m told. So much so that the visiting speaker sarcastically commented on it end everyone laughed.

  • dozy

    I asked my PIMO cousin , who is a MS in a large northern UK city.

    He says his congregation has approx 140 publishers ( it recently has been enlarged as a nearby congregation was disbanded and re-distributed to 4 others ) but meeting attendances are typically 80 or 90. Sometimes , for example if the weather is really bad or good it can be as low as 70. Who wants to go to a boring meeting on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon when you could be in the garden or even down the beach?

    The waters are muddied a bit as many ( about 20 ) listen in on the telephone ( or at least , claim to ) and are included in the official attendance figures for the society ( which often aren't announced.)

    We discussed that when we were young , missing a meeting simply wasn't an option. Ever. I can think of many occasions when my parents went through 10 foot snow drifts , power cuts , walked an hour to the KH if the car had broken down etc. On the rare occasions we went away for the weekend ( for example , to see a older "worldly" relative ) , we would visit the local kingdom hall. Times have long changed.

    He gave the example of an elder in his congregation who is a friend and neighbour of his. The elder & his wife ( who is a regular auxiliary pioneer ) would be regarded as strong , "exemplary" JWs , but quite regularly miss meetings. His wife has one of the ME style depressive conditions very common amongst JWs , so often just "listens in" on the phone. They go away for at least one weekend a month on short holiday breaks , to visit relatives or to take in shows. The husband will quite regularly miss the midweek meeting given half a chance , especially if his football ( soccer ) team is live on the TV! He has a sales rep job that often involves travelling away overnight so nobody really asks any questions or gossips about them - frankly , most in the congregation do the same , ducking and diving the meetings as required.

    All of this is anecdotal , but the impression I get is that meeting attendance , other than the Memorial & assemblies ( which are the main events that everyone attends ) is really poor now. The Love of the Greater Number definitely is cooling off!

  • StarryNight9

    Thanks everybody! I appreciate all of your observations. I was wondering if my experiences where just a local fluke or if others were noticing the same things. When do the yearly by-country "official" JW numbers get published?

  • StarryNight9

    hmm, I like these webpages. Lots of juicy numbers to pour over. The Pew numbers seem to suggest that JWs are getting older and poorer over time.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic
    Figures now compared to 10 , 15 or 20 years ago are the only benchmarks you should go on otherwise its just a waste of time.

    I don't agree with this at all. We should NOT compare numbers from 20 years ago because the WT has changed it's metrics. In order to inflate their numbers, they now consider 15min a month an "active" publisher.

    It's also worth pointing out that there has been a CONSIDERABLE push to get teens and pre-teens baptized. Once again, this has been done to try and inflate their numbers.

    Comparing numbers only works if the metrics for that comparison are identical. In the case of peak publishers and number baptized - those metrics have be laxed considerably. People that would never of been counted before are now being added to the books.

  • steve2

    Let's not complicate things. Whilst definitions of a category or two have changed (e.g., hours for pioneers), most categories have remained fairly constant: Average publishers, Memorial attendances, Bible Studies, Baptisms, Congregations, Convention attendances, etc).

    It is therefore possible to compare across the decades - with the proviso that there may be a slightly changed category.

    Yes, JWs have usually been a moving population - but just as people moved out of a district, others moved in - the proverbial revolving door syndrome. What smiddy is talking about is people now moving out and no one else moving in. In New Zealand (with a high ratio of JWs to population), we are seeing a consistent reduction in rural-based congregations with Kingdom Halls being sold and any remaining local JWs having needing to travel further to the next available kingdom hall.

    Compare that to the 1960s (my childhood) when the organization prided itself on having kingdom halls even in relatively small communities. Wherever you travelled throughout New Zealand, you could guarantee a kingdom hall was not that far away. No more. There have been a series of closures of rural kingdom hall with their small congregations merging with "nearby" congregations.

  • SummerAngel

    Song my family go to has merged so at least one whole song gone, I last went late 80s used to get around 120 give or take numbers reported to be around 60 now.reported by parents who are PIMI. They are of course in complete denial and blame it on 'high local house prices ' funny how this doesn't affect other churches who are increading. I don't think they realise of believe decline is National. Area is South East UK

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