What can the leadership at Watchtower do to turn things around?
Let's play devils advocate here.
Put yourself in the Governing Body's shoes. They are well aware of all the issues they are facing. They know their numbers (They 'do the math' as they say in the US). They MUST do something (AND SOON) to end all the bad press and the consequential loss in membership.
So what steps do the leadership need to take in order to turn things around before it's too late?.
Plant a little somethin'-somethin' in 2018's memorial emblems and announce the New Light that all members must partake.
Hopefully, they will continue to make blunder after blunder! They don't have a creative thinker among the higher ups so their answer to everything is doubling down on what already has been ineffective. The cuts they are making to literature, etc are not strategic but more reactionary. I think they generally believe that the Big A will come soon and bail them out.
I've said it before and will continue to say it, apathy among members is far and away the cause of their problems and until they make people really care again, they will continue to slowly lose momentum.
Watchtower is calendar and money-driven. Watchtower is a literature printing company in an era where printing is almost dead. Many print magazines have gone online in the hopes that people will pay for them on their tablets. That has not gone well.
I don't have the answer to "turn things around" in the long run, but I see a replay of 1975. When they declared (but did not declare) that the end of the world was coming, it was a replay of times before when they managed to come out ahead. In 1976, they had financed the modernization of presses and they gained more members than they lost over the issue. As a matter of fact, they gained more members than they ever would have if they had not done their Armageddon play.
So I see 2034 as their next big play. Membership recruiting is DEAD right now. The only real growth is from a small portion of the children who grew up in it. They will not really, in the computer age, change their recruiting of adults, but I see them trying to retain more kids. The vast difference between this Armageddon declaration and those of the past is that this one will kill them when it fails. So I see them using it as a way to focus more on taking more money from the members than actually growing in membership.
After the fail, they will be like Scientology- rich in property and/or money but with a small membership. And maybe the Governing Body members will take the money and run. Or maybe they will encourage members to get married and have lots of children so they have a "next generation" to attend meetings. I doubt either of those. More likely, they will use their financing to try to become some kind of internet religion and sell ALL the Kingdom Halls.
Extort all the surplus savings from every congregation.
Institute of mandatory cost-per-person fee at every assembly day. If the attendees fail to contribute enough to cover the total fee then demand that the congregations paid the shortfall. If the attendees contribute more than enough demand the excess funds be contributed.
Take legal ownership of every kingdom hall and sell off all that are under-used or not sending in sufficient contributions to warrant keeping them and pocket the cash from the sale.
Establish your own private religious broadcasting network where you can stand up on a regular basis and cry and beg for more money while at the same time you are stockpiling and hoarding (and hiding) billions and billions of dollars collected from your gullible members.
Oh wait……… They are already doing that! Well then, I’m out of fresh ideas, but I bet they come up with something!
Narcissists don’t need to turn things around. If you ever deal with a true Narcissist you will find that it is everyone else that is at fault. Watchtower is selfish cult that does not care about the welfare of its members.
Stop shunning and i go back tomorow
I hate to say it , but membership is still increasing , though admittedly mainly in 3rd world countries and at a slow but probably sustainable rate of 2% a year , or so..
They have already changed the fundamental financing model from printing & selling literature to becoming more of a real estate business - sweating their existing estate and building using ( essentially ) slave labour and flipping new properties tax free.
Frankly , when you are dealing with a deluded mindset that thinks that God is behind all their activities and ( for example ) brings typhoons to deliver sand to a new build Bethel , and that Armageddon is still imminent ( after 150 years of proclaiming it as such ) then there isn't really much common sense thinking to try to improve matters. There really is a "bunker mentality" ( in more ways than one ) at Society HQ.
+1 to stop shunning. I would add allow dissent.
Stop shunning and this church turns into every other religion. Stopping shunning would positively impact the mental health of every dub.
Still have "one true faith" Still have paradise to look forward to. Still have love that the world does not have. Still have this safe haven twice a week to help fend off worldly ideas. This is what almost every other church espouses.
Allowing dissent will certainly create an "acceptable" level of strife but in the long run people will accept that some congregants are not living up to baptism but not having to cut off family members or life long friends will turn this into just another social club like every other church.
I would argue that families that do not have to shun other family members would be more happy and therefor be more ready to give to the ever important world wide work.
do " good works" and widely publicise it. such as cash and labour to places hit by freak weather. become a force for good in the eyes of the public. stop all mention of armageddon and a new world. make the resurrection hope the thing to placate the elderly dubs.--not armageddon and everlasting life. they know it aint gonna happen.