Massive Plunge in Number of New JW Congregations from 1990 to 2014

by steve2 48 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidiot

    tim310rd - "They keep creating new congregations and new circuits of smaller and smaller sizes and call it 'growth'."

    Before too long, they'll have sold off all the KHs, instructed all the remaining loyalists to just watch JWTV Sunday mornings, and classified each individual Witness household as an individual congregation.

    They'll have tripled the number of "new congregations" (on paper) whilst dealt with the membership decline at the same time. :smirk:

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    As I mentioned one time before. The Borg and the rank and file considers appearances to be everything pretty much. Should the Borg go the way of broadcasting everything, fading out of the Borg should become way easier. Nobody really to judge you due to your lack of appearance.

    The Borg will be doing the faders a big favour. Waayyyyy easier to slip away because there are no elders or henchmen to judge you due to your lack of appearance.

  • steve2
    Hi Beth Sarim, I take it your good thoughts are about the decline in the number of new congregations? Otherwise I couldn't quite place them in context.
  • truthwillsetyoufree
    Redditch in the west midlands boasted 4 congregations. They built a double kingdom hall there for them. Now, the congregations decreased massively in size. They disbanded the one congregation and are now trying to keep alive three small congregations - this they are doing by sending other publishers from other congregations (such as from the evesham congregations) to join them.
  • kaik

    There was no divine intervention but Communism collapsed. Who'd have thought?

    Many people knew it, but nobody could see it how. Everyone was afraid of violent collapse of the communist system. It was well armed, it had nukes, tanks, militarized forces outside regular DoD, and unlimited resources to squeeze population. However, in the mid 1980's, there were articles in the semi-official press that the communist regime will economically disintegrate by mid 1990's. Institutions and economic research centers calculated when industrial plants, transportation, and utilities will collapse due lack of funding, spare parts, and later even energy. To me going and be part of the process was a great moment, and it was one of the best period of my life.

    Many JWs I knew joined WT cult because they expected a divine intervention to change the political system. When my father was purged from job and stripped all benefits, military grade, and social prestige in the 1968/1969, my JW relatives used it to start a book study with my parents. We used to go to GGF summer house in the mountains, and studied there with them. My parents suddenly were getting hope. Big change (1975) was couple years away, and mighty heavenly warriors would smash all these Soviets tanks on the streets. Many in that time believed it. For reason not known to anyone, my father decided not to get baptized, only mom did. He just told me that WT reasoning is based on BS and not supported by bible.

    I wonder if the elder who dreamed Armageddon and angels smashing Red Army tanks was disappointed that the system collapsed on its own. I noticed that JW were totally unprepared on the changes and could not grasp such issue like sudden freedom to worship. It was like letting bird out of the cage, but the bird is not stepping out. The first open field service we had and divided territory was done by sister who was always outspoken, open minded, and sincere (I really liked her). Once the elders disagreed on it and said that we need to wait for the official opinion. Her answer was, "see the big estate development out there with high rises? We need to spread the news before the "A" comes and I just do not want to sit and wait for an answer from Brooklyn!

  • TheOldHippie
    I don't think the number of congregations is that important. In my part of the world, 30 years ago there were many congregations in the center of the big cities and a few smaller ones in the outskirts. Now, the city centers are populated by Moslems, and the congregations mostly have been shut down. But the outskirts congregations exist, and are many times as big as 30 years ago, partly because that is where population growth has taken place and also partly because the city center members drive to the outskirts congregations.
  • steve2

    Fair enough, OldHippie. The big question is whether existing congregations are bigger that earlier ones? Anecdotal reports suggest they are not. Your observation is exceptional; namely, 'the outskirts congregations exist and are many times as big as 30 years ago'.

    I invite others to comment on this - and preferably include their own observations and/or knowledge of congregational sizes in their locality ( My still-in older sister and a still-attending acquaintance keep me up to date about attendances and numbers of active publishers).

  • TheOldHippie
    And fair enough to you, Steve2, that perhaps my observation is exceptional. I can only refer to what I see here, and one should be very cautious in believing that what one sees in one's own little pond magically is what can be observed worldwide. Outskirts congregations here - I know at least five of them - that consisted of say 20 people 30 years ago now consist of 70 to 120 people. Closer to city center outskirts congregations - "half way outskirt" - I know around ten of them - that consisted of 50-60 people now consist of 100 to 120 people. Then there are city center congregations - five perhaps - that have been dissolved, and finally center congregations - also perhaps five - that have as many people as before, some 100 each. Additionally, some eight to ten foreign speaking groups have emerged, each with 30 to 50 people. I see now that if I add it all up, then 30 years ago it added up to 1,500 people - which is fairly correct - and now it adds up to 2,500 - which is also fairly correct. Not a huge growth, but a growth nevertheless, and a change from a city center based organization to a suburbian and increasingly foreign speaking organization.
  • Tenacious

    In my part of the country you had (South East U.S.) quite a few congregations perhaps around 10 form out of 1 in about 23 years or so.

    The JW's are opportunistic weasels that wait for people to experience hardships and tragedy in order to give false hope into joining their cult. And while they received free, they don't give free. Then enslave you, condition you, and program you to do their bidding. Sorry had to vent a bit. I'm finished.

  • steve2

    Thanks for elaborating TOH. One reason reports are called "anecdotal" is to acknowledge they are from observations that may not be representative of what happens elsewhere. Hence I referred to what I had heard from those I know who are still attending as "anecdotal" - along with those contributing on this forum. And, like you, posters have also said the congregations they know of or attend have not had declining attendances and have even grown.

    That said, the rapid growth in congregations that preceeded 1975 has never been repeated in the West, and the annual reports from many western countries in more recent years indicate a plateauing of publishers, memorial attendances and decline in numbers baptized.

Share this