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

by steve2 48 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidiot

    kaik - "I wonder if the elder who dreamed Armageddon and angels smashing Red Army tanks was disappointed that the system collapsed on its own."

    I'm sure he was, but he would have kept it to itself.

    For a lot of apocalyptic evangelicals (JW or otherwise), Armageddon is the ultimate supernatural revenge fantasy.

    I suspect a lot of WT higher-ups were really thrown for a loop when the old Soviet Union crumbled... they still haven't recast the "King of the North".

  • Kick50r

    When they own records show that growth is not real growth, one can only imagine what the REAL records are ^^

    Its all Good

  • TheListener

    My anecdotal evidence comes from shirt tail relatives in the US northeast. They had 1 congregation in their area in the 1980s which split into 2 congregations in the early 1990s. Now both congregations are nearly empty and they are considering merging.

    I've heard them say that attendance is way down in most of the congregations in their area. Their area is suburban.

  • Mephis
    One of the latest watchtowers has a study article on why people shouldn't be skipping meetings. That's usually a sign that they've noticed a decline in attendances.
  • steve2

    Even in the 1980s, there were not infrequent words of "encouragement" to attend mid-week meetings, which at that time included "three" one- hour ones: Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meeting (these 2 were on the same night, one after the other) and the Book Study.

    Bsck then, there was an awareness that the mid-week meetings were not well attended even by "active" Witnesses.

    Indeed it was no secret that families skipped these meetings or were not regular in attending.

    All these years later, and with the cessation of the separate Book Study, attendance rates have not improved one bit. From what I hear from still-in family, mid-week attendances are even worse.

    I smell the new weekly meeting as an attempt to address this long-standing problem- by injecting new life into what has long been very dreary meetings

  • paul from cleveland
    paul from cleveland
    Perhaps this was mentioned as I didn't read all the comments, however, I think this is referred to as a 'decrease in the rate of growth' rather than a 'plunge in the number' of congregations as the total number actually grew over that period.
  • berrygerry

    'decrease in the rate of growth'

    Yes, the OP could have been better worded.

    But, the upshot is that if you look at the growth line, it has already passed its zenith.

    As a numbers-lover, I would expect the next 18 months are huge markers.

    Many have said that the 2015 Memorial stats were due to whatever day of the week.

    I think not.

    I think that the real peak of the Borg was in 2013.

    They know it.

    And they do not know what to do.

    They are throwing into the wind.

    Some SE corp gave them good advice on the SEO end of their website (their SE results are impressive). Some marketing corp gave them Mormon copycat BS that is worthless.

    The 2016 Memorial stats will reflect 2015's.

    After that, it's a matter of milking the blue-haired grandmas as much as possible.

  • Phizzy

    "They are throwing into the wind."

    More like pissing into the wind. I think you are right on all counts. I shall be watching the demise of the cult with interest.

  • besty

    or those figures another way:

    1990-99 66,207 to 91,487 3.7%
    2000-09 93,154 to 107,000 1.55%
    2009-14 107,000 to 109,297 0.43%

    percentages are CAGR

  • Lieu

    A lot of new Congos here are Latino. I'm wondering if the numbers are going down in LatAm as people migrate to the US. If the "growth" is simply JWs migrating, then it isn't growth; it's displacement.

    I also wonder if the migration has something to do with the downward trend in donations coming from Central America.

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