[this article was contributed by Alex Rover]
The number of memorial partakers from the Jehovah’s Witnesses yearbook for 2014 is now known: 14,1211.
2012 partakers: 12604 [i]
2013 partakers: 13204
2014 partakers: 14121
Which gives an increase of 600 between 2012/13 and an increase of 917 between 2013/14. This constitutes a great increase!
Many Jehovah’s Witnesses will try to downplay the significance of this number, stating that anyone can claim to be anointed and we have no way of knowing the true number.
A fair statement? Imagine what joy and celebration we would witness if the number of reported new water baptisms had doubled over the past year. We should not hold double standards: one cannot say one year that increase is evidence of Jehovah’s blessing and the next year that decrease is not due to our lack thereof.
Water Baptisms were down about 1% in 2014, while new anointed partakers are up over 50% over the same period. In fact, we have every reason to believe that the true number of anointed partakers is even higher. After all, we know of so many who choose to partake privately at home for various personal reasons, or that don’t meet the standards of the Governing Body or Elder bodies to be counted.
Considering a linear growth averaged over the past few years, we can expect about 730 new partakers being reported next year. Many factors can change this projection, and the biggest factor is the holy spirit of course. I am eager to see what will unfold!
Let’s rejoice at this increase. After all, we can welcome at least 917 new brothers and sisters in Christ. It takes enormous courage for a Jehovah’s Witness to start partaking publicly, and it symbolizes their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their personal mediator and Lord.
Through this, we draw closer to our Heavenly Father as well. Not just as friends, but as his own beloved children.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now am found was blind but now I see.
[i] Thank you MarthaMartha for verifying the numbers in the yearbook.