When did district conventions become regional conventions and why?
I think it was Gary and Heather Bottings' book The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Wifnesses that noted the function of the habit of the Watchtower organisation of changing organisational terminology periodically. Congregations became companies and then back to congregations again. Circuit overseers became circuit servants and then back again. Congregation servants became presiding overseers who became coordinators. Assemblies and conventions switched places and so on.
The Bottings argued that such changes served the function of weeding out inactive members by periodically rendering their terminology obsolete. So that anyone who still used the word assembly for a convention for example would be instantly marked as out of step with "present truth".
So yeah I've been caught out with this latest "regional convention" change. When was it changed from district convention to regional convention and why. Did they give any rationale for the change or was it simply a change for its own sake?
The "society" did away with DO's so they couldn't very well keep the term "District" conventions could they?
Regardless of why they change their terminology the effect is the same as you stated-showing up "those who are not keeping up with Jehovah's chariot."
I'm showing my age here but when i was little the meetings for FS were held at the same homes the book studies were held. It was called the "Contact Point" later the "Rendezvous for Service". Return visits were "Back Calls" The KM was called "Informant" and the list goes on......
"District" conventions were last mentioned by the Org in the October 2013 Kingdom Ministry.
If my memory serves me correctly, I think "regional conventions" were revealed in a letter in January 2014.
My suspicion at the time - which now appears confirmed here in the U.K.) was that greater numbers of J.W.'s were going to have to travel greater distances within a "region", as opposed to a "district".
Many J.W.'s in England now have to book into hotels for their "regional" convention", because the daily travelling time/distance involved is prohibitive.
Around 1980 the WTS switched from district assembly to district convention
Just an observation from my perspective (midwest US). Back in the day (pre 1980) the district was well defined. All congregations in a district were assigned to the same district assembly, the congregations within the district were consistent, the district overseer and circuit overseers were visible and present at the district assembly, etc. More recently, the 'district' convention was a hodgepodge of congregations from numerous congregations from different circuits. The district overseer wasn't there, nor was it even clear what district it was. So I think the concept of 'district' had ceased to exist anyway for at least 15 years.
1977, “Joyful Workers” District Assemblies: yb78 21-22; w77 285-286, 611-616; g77 10/22 24-28; km 3/77 4; km 5/77 3-6
1978, “Victorious Faith” International Conventions
1979, “Living Hope” District Conventions: yb80 21-23, 30-32; w79 5/15 29-30; w79 11/15 3-8; g79 12/8 16-20
surely costs must be a part of the reason, most of Europe now meet in conference halls, the grand old days of meeting in vast sports stadiums must be long gone, they must be eye wateringly expensive, plus in the UK the ancillary costs of stewarding, first aid,police, traffic marshalling etc are legal requirements for these kind of events. I've not read the Bottings book, but do agree with their assessments of keeping the R&F busy and not left behind and being upto date with latest "changes and new light" their unique "cult speak" is a very important tool for the leaders.
It's change for the sake of change IMHO. It's a way of trying to make an archaic religion look like it's doing something, moving forward. It's "New light" from jehober just like j f rutherford received when he changed the name to 'jehober witless'.
Terminology change has to do with keeping up with the chariot. If someone uses a dropped term, you know they aren't keeping up with the chariot, hence are spiritually weak and to be watched....and not particularly ideal associates.
Blondie I so remember when they were switched from assembly's to conventions. I was about 16 and i a car group of about 5 all older ones and I asked what hotel everyone was staying in for the assembly. I just got ripped to shreds by this older sister who was in her 50's at the time, belittling me for not keeping up with the slave and calling it the proper name convention. I mean she just went on and on and on over it it was like I had used the f bomb or something. It just really worked her up to no end.
Oh how I wished that had woken me up that something was truly wrong with this religion. It was just peer craziness.