THE AGEING OF STILL-ACTIVE WITNESSES
The decrease in door knocking is apparent in my area, I haven't seen them knock on all the doors around my home for a couple of years.
On Saturday a People Mover parked outside my place, two "Sisters" got out and knocked next door, they know the people there will take a mag or something, then it drove off.
The other 5 or so in the van were counting their time too no doubt as they drove around the Countryside calling on "RV's" .
There seems to be no real attempt at evangelizing or at converting anymore, it is simply about counting time. Our young friends who moved in down the road, but in the next Congo's Territory, in November 2015, still have not been called on !
I get the impression from replies that the zeal of yesteryear for the door-to-door work has evaporated, leaving largely older JWs "on their own".
This is a significant shift in my view, considering the high conscientiousness exhibited by JWs in earlier decades.
We scrupulously wrote down "Not at Homes" (as they were called) - and persisted until we found someone at home. I recall "experiences" given at conventions about the efforts by some Witnesses to contact Not at Homes and the "fruit" it bore (e.g., when the householder was finally contacted, interest was shown, a study started, then attending meetings and out door-knocking).
Special Pioneers, along with Regular Pioneers, drove this work and it was clear that interest was found each time the territory was combed. Judging by the annual reports for at least two decades, the "slowing down" of growth has become increasingly obvious.
What interests me is the present spluttering "growth" seems to reflect born-ins than it does "newly interested ones."
My hunch is that the era of "career" door-knockers is over, although the older timers haven't yet reached the point of stopping altogether. By contrast, to newer generations of JWs, the concept of spending your days and years door-knocking is foreign - hence the "slide" into trolley or cart work or, more likely, inactivity.
This looks like the 'Mormonification' of the JWs - the focus is uncreasingly more internal - visiting those raised in the religion and/or have already established ties to JWs. Look at the Bibke Studies JW parents can now count with their kids. The more general outreach is f-f-fading. 😔
Since 2011, only seen them once in my area. Where I live mostly here in the Philippines they haven't seen them in this Barangay for 10 years or more, and here by the river, same barangay, never. My neighbor's in the states say they never have seen them but once since 2011 too. They are scarcer than a truth telling politician.
I've written about this before, but in my location (a very safe middle-class neighborhood) I used to see them about once every 3-5 months - you know in the spring and the fall. We would also get invitations to the Memorial and to conventions being held at the state fairgrounds located in our city. I haven't seen any at all at any time of the year in over 5 years. My home office looks out onto the street, so I can see everyone in the neighborhood walking their dogs, jogging, etc. But no JWs or their literature at my house for half a decade.
Something is definitely changing. I could drive by the largest Kingdom Hall in this area (I believe there are at least three in this town) and see cars parked in the lot and JWs milling around the main door. Recently I drove by the KH on both a Saturday and a Sunday in late afternoon and there were only just a couple of cars.
We are not the largest city in the state, but it would be in the top 3 or 4 for sure. We have an active downtown and quite a bit of foot traffic except in the winter. I've made a point of driving around the major intersections of the three major business areas in town - and have never seen a JW street preaching or manning a literature cart.
The only time I have actually encountered a literature cart was in another city in an adjacent state. There was a Saturday afternoon public sponsored "faire" of tents that were manned by various churches, activist groups, and sign carrying protestors. Two JWs were manning the cart (kind of a tall narrow thing with two verticle rows of Watchtowers and Awake! magazines. Zero enthusiasm even when I walked up and engaged them in conversation. Their attitude was more like "take whatever you want - you can even take duplicates for your friends - but we're just here to make sure no one steals the cart..."
Times have changed, that's for sure. I just wonder how they are managing to come up with hours to report - what are they actually doing?
Take a look at the annual meeting. It is like a convention for the old timers. With young ones leaving, old ones dying and no growth, things are not looking good for WT. They will never go away but I think their numbers are going to drastically fall. Those that we have spoken to are openly admitting that they are not donating. Some have actually said that they are not going to pay Watchtowers legal bills (child molestation law suits). This is what makes me feel good. WT is getting hit where it hurts....$$$$.
LURKERS...VOTE WITH YOU WALLETS!