So peak pubs. increased almost 123,000 last year. So Armageddon delayed another year for them. So nice Jehovah - awesome! However, now because of this wonderful delay, now over 133M+ births this last year, more babies to for Jehovah has to destroy. Nice - :(
2018 Service Year Report - Released on jw.org
These figures belie what I see with my eyes.
Congregations are closing.
Attendance at meetings is down.
Service is mostly perfunctory and token
Building projects have tanked and are just "not discussed"
On a positive note, conventions still appear mostly the same
Thats what I see.
Then there is what they "report"
Thank you, millie. Are you still attending?
It has been a long slow extraction of myself from them. Mostly to keep the waters calm with all my family/friend connections.
I did go to Memorial last year, as a concession to elderly family members. That is the extent of my going in a Hall. It seems to not matter much to "in" JWs what I do as long as I dont rock the boat too hard in any one direction at any one time.
I do have several JWs who work for me so I get to see and hear a lot without the drudgery of having to actually go in to a Kingdom Hall
millie210: These figures belie what I see with my eyes.
You might add this one to your list:
Baptisms of adult outsiders at an all time low...next to zero!
SBF, a 20-year growth rate of 5,000 is nothing to crow about. You compare JWs growth with a traditional mainstream church - we know traditional churches struggle to attract interest. Why not compare JW growth with Pentecostals or Seventh-Day Adventists? In New Zealand, SDA’s have now outstripped JWs in growth for the first time in literally decades. Also, I don’t have the figures on hand, but British JWs grew phenomenally more in the previous 20 years - 1977 to 1997. From a statistical analysis view, I don’t get how an over-inflated number - peak publishers - “evens out” over time. Not only is that a dodgy thing to say but it suggests routine inflation is self-correcting. How is that possible if the number once used to “correct” the peak number - the average number - is no longer in the public domain to “correct” the inflation of the peak?
Peak numbers of JWs in Britain: 1980 - 2018:
From 1980 to 2018 (38 years), peak numbers rose by 57,182. However bulk of that growth was between 1980 and 1991: 43,235.
From 1991 to the present (26 years) growth has been: 13,947.
But if we take the peak of 132,516 in 1997, growth to the present has been 7,267.
Steve, for most churches any growth at all would be something to crow about. The fact that JWs have managed even modest growth, in rapidly secularising societies, such as the UK is quite remarkable.
A few Pentecostal groups have grown in the UK, but these are churches that consist almost entirely of immigrants, largely from Africa and the Caribbean. Their numbers have been boosted, not by making converts in the UK, but by new arrivals from more religious countries. This does not count as endogenous growth.
Plus it is telling that the older Pentecostal groups, which do no tend to attract new immigrants, such as Assemblies of God and Elim have declined as well.
As for SDAs, my personal (and pretty extensive) experience of the church in Scotland is that they are 90% immigrants, mostly from Africa and the Caribbean, and some from Asia and Eastern Europe, with fewer than 10% born in the UK. They number around 1000 in Scotland and they are not increasing at the moment.
From what I remember the SDA church in Australia and New Zealand also largely consists of new arrivals from the Pacific islands, Africa and elsewhere. They are not converting numbers of outsiders to the church.
Incidentally JW growth in the UK in recent years relied to some extent the arrival of immigrants - from Poland in particular. The difference is that immigrants only form a minority of JWs in the UK.
JWs have simply performed better at holding back the tide of secularisation than other Christian groups. Whether that’s “something to crow about” we can debate. On the one hand they are not doing as well as they used to, or as well as some might expect of God’s endtime messengers. But they are clearly doing better than most other Christian groups in the same hostile secular environment.
Fair points SBF. It would be interesting to look at numbers baptised in the UK for the last 20-plus years and compare growth of publishers over roughly that time period (I know that there is not a clear overlap between those baptised and those newly publishing).