Doubting Bro, I explained earlier in the thread what I meant by collapse, using comparisons with other religious groups. Collpase could proceed along a path similar to the Methodists in England. They grew until the middle of the 20th century when they had nearly 1 million members. They began steep decline in the 1950s and now there are very few left. It has been predicted the church will close altogether by around 2035. See the chart of their decline which is about one third of the way down this page:
On this path JWs are around about where the Methodists were in 1950. So in that scenario decline would be steep and they could disappear altogether within 80 years or so.
Or collapse could be quicker than that. More along the lines of the Worldwide Church of God. Numbers are more difficult to chart in this case than the Methodists, but indications are that the decline was even more dramatic. In the 1980s circulation of The Plain Truth was greater than the Watchtower and it was a worldwide church. Then the founder died, they had scandals and financial crisis, and the church splintered and reformed. There is barely anything of this church left. People who say the Worldwide Church of God still exists - I wonder if they’ve ever been to any of their services, or spoken to any of their members? I have. There are hardly any of them left, they are all older people, and there is no sense in which this church has any future at all. In Scotland there was once hundreds of members in lots of churches. Now they have a handful of churches left with a handful of people in each. We’re talking about a reduction from probably over 1000 members to less then 50 within a couple of decades. If that isn’t collpase then I don’t know what is. I noticed similar figures and a reduction of around 90% in census data recently too. That’s the sort if scenario I’m talking about. People who say “the Worldwide Church of God” is still around don’t really know what they’re talking about, in my opinion. There may be traces of the church left at this stage, that is all.
Morph, how can you say JWs are still growing when census figures show they are in decline? You cite growth in Watchtower publisher numbers, but it’s worth noting that this growth is contradicted by the census numbers in Canada and Australia. It’s also worth noting that Watchtower doesn’t even release average publisher numbers any more. Instead they publish peak numbers, which we know is generally the August figure where elders report everyone in the congregation, and sometimes put in double reports. So getting an accurate picture from the peak figure is doubtful, and the average figure is no longer available. Plus even the reported peak numbers are down in Europe. And number of congregations is down in the United States, Germany, Japan and elsewhere.