Saturday, 19 January 2008
The 34 500
Bill Lussenheide draws attention to the current membership statistics of the WCG in a recent posting in the comments section. The full account is contained in the latest issue of Together, and it makes interesting reading.
Membership figures seems to be based on attendance rather than those baptized, and even then the results are incredibly modest. There are, according to Randy Dick, 10,873 faithful folk left in the US. The next highest figure comes the Philippines (6225) then, from north of the border 4476 confused Canuks.
Next on the national hit parade come the Ockers (a.k.a. Australians) with a membership of 1438.
The Democratic Republic of Congo - where presumably limited flow of information, illiteracy and poor access to the Internet work in the church's favor - chalks up 900 followers.
Poor old Britannia manages to scrape a membership of only 871, while New Zealand comes well down the list with 183.
The total membership worldwide is now calculated at 34,500 (though elsewhere on their website they still claim 42,000) - and that appears to mean regular attendees. In short, the WCG is rotting from the inside out. And that despite desperate infusions of neo-Calvinist nonsense in the form of Karl Barth and Presbyterianism's terrible twosome, the brothers Torrance.
Those with get up and go have, well, got up and gone.
That doesn't mean WCG is about to fold: lots of income to be gleaned from the estates of the deceased; certainly enough to keep Joe and Co. in clover for life.
But in case anyone hadn't realized it, WCG is effectively dead on its feet anyway.