Jump to content
JWTalk - Jehovah's Witnesses Discussion Forum
Whitley M

Jehovah’s witnesses lowest income earning among other religions says Pew Research Center

Recommended Posts

I wouldn't pick on the survey based on its results.  The PEW people are generally respected survey takers.  A public survey is only tabulating the responses given. If the survey sample is large enough (5000 is considered adequate) and a fair cross-sample of individuals is selected, then the results are simply what people said. The results do not validate the truthfulness of the answers, it only records and tabulated them.  Our group may have been a low number in the total but we are only 1 out of 263 population in the US (according to our latest report).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, MentalProject said:

I wouldn’t swap all the money in the world for my spiritual richness I now have.

 

Whether this survey is correct or not (in a way I hope it is) our focus is trained to be spiritual not physical. I have turned down full time work and a promotion quite a few times over the past 7 years. Every decision has been to simplify and create more time for spiritual interests. Me and my wife are both way below the national average wage and both work part time. Somehow (although I know why) I have gone from a little flat to now a little house with a garden and a garage, I have had a little holiday every year to somewhere warm/nice during winter and I seem to have more money for the things I want, yet I have not been persueing those things but been persueing kingdom interests. How did that happen?

 

Matthew 6:33Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.

 

Jesus was telling the truth that Jehovah would provide for us if we put him first. Those who do it get to experience first hand this miracle of Jehovah providing for them. It’s like a front row seat to your own personal miracle. I am glad it is like this as it means many of us rely on Jehovah and not the money that we earn.

 

I think if this survey is true it is evidence that we are being trained to rely on Jehovah and not our money.

 

Disclaimer:- This does not mean that Jehovah can’t do this for those with higher incomes. He does it for all those servants who put his kingdom interests first.

 

 

OH MY GOD bro. You read my situation like an open book. YOU REALLY DID. I passed up on several jobs for spiritual reasons, one in particular in April 2014 that paid in the mid $20/hr range (I fixed both ATM machines and PC's for a living at that time at the same time) because they told me that I would not be guaranteed to get Thursday nights off or Sunday mornings (my meeting days). I was unemployed and collecting unemployment when that offer came. So they contacted me with an offer and said they were not allowing ANY schedule restrictions, and I had to turn it down. It was hard to do a took a lot of prayer.

 

In June that year, I feel I was blessed by Jehovah for that. Not only did I find a better job, it was (and still is) working me from only 8am to 4pm, no weekends, and it offers free health insurance. I MAKE ALL THE MEETINGS, field service, and get convention time off without a problem. Like you, we take a trip a every year and still have money saved and we are not hurting for anything. Sometimes I wonder how we are able to do it. It has to be Jesus words, of course, relative to our own situation.

Edited by Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also agree with other sentiments expressed about lower income (which doesn't mean we are broke). It also does not mean JWs are uneducated. It means, if anyone investigated our teachings, that JWs do not prioritize making a lot of money. There a several downsides to being focused on income anyway, namely, the time needed to spent at work or in school and basically putting your family and Jehovah in second place. In other words, you're going to have to be a company man as it will demand huge chunks of your time, in a lot of cases.

 

Just the way I see things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I happened to be in a NY taxi and the driver was telling me his story. He had a college education and had been working for the US POst Office and was travelling hours a day and never seeing his family. He switched to taxi driver- he and his wife both working full time. They frequently ate or used take out meals b/c of their schedules. He had one of his young daughters in a distant (not local) baseball team. They made the finals and his family rented a hotel. Her team was eliminated first game. As he ran down his list of seriously non-essentials, it seemed that if he eliminated some of these cavalier activities, one of them could stay home, and they would be in a lower tax bracket. I think that is a pattern for those 'worldly' ones.  Of course, some of our Christian couples need to have two incomes, but do not work extra hours to fritter away excess income. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say.. reading everyone’s experiences is very encouraging here.. the survey itself strengthens me because I think a lot of us show what really matters in this world.. not money! I love hearing about you brothers and sisters who have seen Jehovah’s hand in your life personally.. it really makes me feel so happy. I work for dentist who has put himself in !enormous! amount of debt.. and continues to.. he really struggles finding balance with family time, work time and recreation. That leaves little time for his “church” and continuing education. Wordly people have no real hope and I feel they are just hamsters on the wheel... makes me sad for them.. looking forward to the day when I’m paradise no income needed :infatuated:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whom, besides JW's, leaves a tip for the housekeeper?  No one I know.

 

If the survey is drawing a conclusion that the godly enjoy material prosperity,  they are spiritually blind.

 

 "Material prosperity cannot be relied upon as a sole indicator of God's approval and blessing"  g03 9/8 26-27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Whereas 13.8 percent of the general population have a university degree, only 4.8 percent of the Witnesses went to a university. Instead, 89.4 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses did an apprenticeship or undertook vocational training; this ratio lies at only 77.5 percent among the total population. It is remarkable that the unemployment rate among Jehovah's Witnesses is only 3.4 percent while the average in Germany lies at 10.6 percent. One of the reasons for this may be the higher proportion of self-employed persons among the Witnesses. Another reason is their willingness to accept any kind of work, regardless of their vocational qualification, in order to provide for their families.

 

the average Witness with only a high school education is probably better educated than others with similar amounts of schooling, because Witness children are very shaped-up, and are expected to study and get good grades. This is supported by performances on the 10-word vocabulary test included in the General Social Surveys. Active Witnesses score as well on this test as do members of the general population who have attended college and almost as well as those who have graduated—inactive Witnesses do not perform nearly as well. In addition to beingbetter students when they are in school, this may also reflect the emphasis the Witnesses place on speaking and writing. Observers believe that Witnesses in Africa and Latin America are substantially better educated, and more apt to have technical training than the average citizen (Penton, 1985: 273).

 

It is true that the mean household income for American Witnesses—about $27,500 based on ANSRI data—is slightly below the national mean ($29,943 in 1990, the year for which the ANSRI data apply). However, this income figure seems remarkably high, when we take several factors into account. First, the Witnesses are far less likely to be employed full-time—47% in the ANSRI data, compared with 63% of the general population. Some Witnesses (especially pioneers) choose to support themselves by working only part-time in order to devote more time to church work. Moreover, half of all female respondents in the ANSRI data reported themselves as full-time housewives. Given that many of the other Witness females are single, widowed or divorced, relatively few Witness families have two earners. In addition, as will be seen, white nonHispanics make up less than half of American Witnesses and still the average Witness household income is close to thenational average. Indeed,Witnesses are precisely as likely as the general population to own their own home (63% in the GSS data). Despite having few college graduates among them and despitegiving their primary attention to religious work, the Witnesses seem remarkably well-off economically.

- Gerhard Besier (Jehovah's Witnesses Request for Recognition as a Corperation - 2001)

The full paper is an interesting read. Besier was interviewed/quoted in a JW.ORG article about the banning of the NWT in Russia, which is how I found his name, and subsequently this paper. 

 

I have some excerpts of this study in my JW Library notes for quick access should the topic ever come up with someone at a door or cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Doug said:

Whom, besides JW's, leaves a tip for the housekeeper?  No one I know.

I

 

My wife and I have always left tips for housekeepers. This was long before we as an organization were directed to do so. Part of good manners. Organizationally we needed prodding because we are naturally frugal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 1MKnight said:

The full paper is an interesting read. Besier was interviewed/quoted in a JW.ORG article about the banning of the NWT in Russia, which is how I found his name, and subsequently this paper. 

 

I have some excerpts of this study in my JW Library notes for quick access should the topic ever come up with someone at a door or cart.

Wow! This is an incredible note! I’m def going to keep this as well for some backup! We really are Jehovah’s people. Very well explained and written. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Wren said:

Lowest income? And yet we thrive and flourish as human beings, we are indeed prosperous in so many ways. 

 

And, there is another way to look at this. By us having the "lowest income", it really dismantles other falsehoods that the organization is money hungry. Think about it: The GB would  encourage members to make as much money as we can, and give us counsel on how to give in to pressures to make more money while trying to maintain spiritual focus. This would be the counsel. Obviously, the more money we make, the more we can donate. One plus one has always equaled 2.

 

So that is just another way we can look at those stats and not let it discourage us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ,many 100's of thousands are in bethal with no income or working as missionaries with no income. Or special pioneers? They all take a vow of poverty. They do not have jobs. How many regular pioneers are there around the world who live on minimal income to serve Jehovah with all they have? These surveys have no idea how many of our brothers and sisters have to live on welfare or government assistance in different countries. One thing they never survey about is how happy their petitioners are or how many they know in their church! How many of their fellows would give their life for there fellow believers? Or when was the last time they invited someone over even for coffee. Or what ever. These surveys are a joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this survey proves Jehovah's Witnesses really live their faith.

 

Jesus message doesn't appeal primarily to the rich and powerful, he said that its easier for a camel to get through the eye of an needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom.  Having a lot of money therefore can be an challenge to spirituality.  Jesus said to seek the kingdom first, so those with the potential to earn more may choose not to for spiritual reasons.  Keeping ones life simple is not synonymous with getting into the top earning bracket.  We live well on less.  Thanks to the bible even with modest means Jehovah's people live surprsingly well, have clean comfortable homes, are well dressed (check out our pioneers and those in special service) and are often debt free.

 

I could earn much more than I do, I'm sure that's true of many of us.   I've even had employers beg me to go full time or seek an added qualification so they can employ me for a better post, outsiders may think that our being amongst the "poorest" means we are sad and needy,  we can all testify how much Jehovah blesses us and keeps us when we put kingdom interests first. 

 

When the money is being thrown in the streets the blessings will continue to flow for us, its a shame there wasn't a question about that in their survey!

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sunshine said:

Well this survey proves Jehovah's Witnesses really live their faith.

 

Jesus message doesn't appeal primarily to the rich and powerful, he said that its easier for a camel to get through the eye of an needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom.  Having a lot of money therefore can be an challenge to spirituality.  Jesus said to seek the kingdom first, so those with the potential to earn more may choose not to for spiritual reasons.  Keeping ones life simple is not synonymous with getting into the top earning bracket.  We live well on less.  Thanks to the bible even with modest means Jehovah's people live surprsingly well, have clean comfortable homes, are well dressed (check out our pioneers and those in special service) and are often debt free.

 

I could earn much more than I do, I'm sure that's true of many of us.   I've even had employers beg me to go full time or seek an added qualification so they can employ me for a better post, outsiders may think that our being amongst the "poorest" means we are sad and needy,  we can all testify how much Jehovah blesses us and keeps us when we put kingdom interests first. 

 

When the money is being thrown in the streets the blessings will continue to flow for us, its a shame there wasn't a question about that in their survey!

 

 

 

 

I completely agree! When I first read the survey it was when I had first started studying and on my way to get baptized. This was one of many factors that solidified to me - Jehovah people put their “money” where their mouth is so to speak! We really try and emulate Jesus path on this earth and have listened to Jesus and FDS about keeping our priorities for the kingdom. Not worldly riches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're in good company, by design.

 

"For you see his calling of you, brothers, that there are not many wise in a fleshly way, not many powerful, not many of noble birth, 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong things to shame; 28 and God chose the insignificant things of the world and the things looked down on, the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the sight of God." --- 1Cor. 1: 26-29

 

"Now when they beheld the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were men unlettered and ordinary, they got to wondering. And they began to recognize about them that they used to be with Jesus; 14 and as they were looking at the man that had been cured standing with them, they had nothing to say in rebuttal." --- Acts 4:13, 14

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this is an old topic but I found it when I was searching the board for the word “frugal” (because we are trying to cut back and save money!). I would encourage people to look at the results of this whole survey before they throw it under the bus! 🤓 Results also showed that Witnesses, more than ANY other religion surveyed, read the Bible, prayed, and meditated every day

and participated in gatherings for worship every week. No surprise there! Even better, more than any other religion surveyed, we also were *the most likely to report “a deep sense of spiritual peace and wellbeing” at least once a week.* Isn’t that cool? 😎

 

So I was actually super excited about the results of this survey. They show that we are also more ethnically and culturally diverse than most religions (again, no surprise), so consider that results about income will reflect the fact that religions in general in the US are separated by class and culture.  Several of the religious groups surveyed are made up of segments of society that historically have more economic mobility and privilege or whose members tend to put a very high value on secular work and education to build financial wealth.

 

Finally, like others have said, even though there are plenty of our brothers and sisters who earn high incomes, **on average** it seems accurate that our income across the board is lowest because of our **values** — storing away treasures in heaven instead of the other kind. We intentionally build simpler lives so that we can spend time doing what is essentially volunteer work in service to

Jehovah. And as others have pointed out, we also enjoy a RICH spiritual life and a very decent and healthy quality of everyday life. We are taught to help each other and that Jehovah provides just enough to satisfy our needs. Psalm 37:25, “I have not seen anyone righteous abandoned,+ Nor his children looking for bread.” 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Esined said:

I was searching the board for the word “frugal” (because we are trying to cut back and save money!)

 

7 hours ago, Esined said:

We intentionally build simpler lives so that we can spend time doing what is essentially volunteer work in service to Jehovah.

I like your comment :) 

I'm in the middle of simplifying right now. It's hard work xD 🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

We've gotten rid of hundreds of items of clothing, instruments, electronic systems/computers, over 75% of our theocratic library (now fits on one shelf) and even one of our cars. It's a fun (read: scary) ride, but we keep seeing Jehovah help us which gives us the courage to keep it going. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed this topic and  enjoyed the comments. It only makes biblical sense that we would view income this way and it proves that We are truly following the footsteps of Christ closely. Jesus undoubtedly would have been the richest man on earth had he chosen too. However his Objective was not to be on the number one spot on the Forbes list of men, but to humbly be a slave and a minister to his brothers. 

 

 

Edited by Hermez
Add appreciation comment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

JWTalk 18.5.26 by Robert Angle (changelog)