A lot of talk has centered around information dispensed at the recent KM schools. Many brothers feel there is a "tightening up" taking place. I had a recent experience that you may find interesting.
After the meeting I was working with our CoBE on some congregation tasks when out of nowhere he said, "Have you looked up any extra information about higher education since the KM school?" I hadn't. I had been through all of the recently published info within the last year and I heard enough at the school to get the strong point they were trying to make. I have kept my stronger opinions about this matter to myself (except for on this board). I asked why he wondered if I had done more research. "Well, Me and Bro. Otherelder have been talking and we feel like the Society is reversing their stand on college." This was a bold statement coming from this brother's mouth. He is very by-the-book, has a wonderful family, lives simply, and is quite prominent in our circuit. I played it cool and simply agreed that the lanuage was rather heavy at KM school. He looked stressed and discouraged. He said, "I never thought I would be deleted from my position as elder for something like this." I told him not too be too dramatic just yet. He replied, "You heard what they said. 'If an elder sends his child to college his position could be called into question!' We've been making plans for our kids to attend college for years now." This brother is a very hard worker but has never attended any schooling further than High School. His line of work has been affected by the economy and things have been difficult for some time now. He and his wife want to make sure that their kids don't have to carry the burden of struggling to make ends meet. He believes that in the long run, they will be better equipped to function spiritually if they don't have the anxiety of just scraping by hanging over their heads for most of their adult life. He continued, "Bro. Otherelder is concerned too. He was going to take some classes to get some specialized training so he can find better work." Bro. Otherelder is another faithful man in the congregation. Lately, he has been trying to assist in taking care of some ailing family members, which costs more money than he has right now. Now, he too is afraid to get the additional training he needs to help provide for his family. The CoBE said, "He and I have gone through the info in the WT library and we thought we were doing everything within the suggested boundaries. But at the KM school, they were making it sound like college should not be an option that an elder would consider for his family. They threw out these crazy statistics to try to back up their point but I don't care what anyone says; You can find, and keep, a better job if you have a degree." The more he spoke, the more freely I could speak. We agreed that the instruction at the KM school on college seemed unfair. We agreed that what was said at the school was not in accord with what the WT has put in print and distributed to the masses. I told him that if we were concerned, others are too and that time will tell if this matters is clarified. The thing that surprised me was, as much as this brother loves being an elder, he was willing to sacrifice his position for the sake of his family's well being. He was allowing himself to make an informed decision, independent of the controlling grip of the Society. I have always loved this brother but after this, my respect for him grew to a new level.