BETHEL NEWS: Bethel Elder Arrangement to be dissolved as of Aug. 31, 2006

by Elsewhere 122 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    Here is some news from a source within one of the WTS Branches:

    Hot news from todays morning worship announcement worldwide -- letter from GB being read on 1st of March 2006 to every branch (Hopefully we will have a copy of the letter soon.)

    As of Aug. 31, 2006 the Bethel Elder Arrangement will be dissolved! After 36 years in place, the appointment ceases to exist.

    Interesting thought: What triggered that decision? Was it the Internet? (information about this gets to R&F witness, spreads around, is being commented, up there in Brooklyn they realize how unbiblical this was in the first place and bum, pull the plug before anybody notices that they were on the path of the catholic church....)

    This came as a surprise to even hardcore bethelites (it's THE discussion this morning, some are missing the power that this little arrangement gave them....hehehehe).

    (Parts of the original message were removed or altered to protect the identity of the source)

  • candidlynuts

    ok i was just a rank and file goober.. what exactly IS a bethel elder?

  • rebel8

    What is the Bethel Elder Arrangement?

  • candidlynuts

    i'm guessing the overseers of the 1500 thats being sent home lol

  • carla

    This really won't affect anybody but those at Bethel right?

  • Jourles

    How does this arrangement affect the bottom line? Every decision the WTS makes is in regards to money. So....if the bethel elders will cease to exist, does this have any ties to the recent worker's comp cases? Could it be that those particular positions are a vulnerable spot to the WTS? And that by eliminating them, they are freeing themselves up from potential litigation?

  • blondie

    First you have to be a male Bethelite.

    Second you have to be appointed as a elder in your local congregation.

    Third, you have to be at Bethel long enough (mature???) to be appointed a "Bethel Elder." Bethel elders sit at the head and the foot of the tables in the dining rooms and "maintain order" and check up on those seated there. Can't miss too many breakfasts or be late or sick too often and they check up on you. Any reports about bad behavior are checked into by them. I think you have to be a Bethel elder to be in a supervisory position at Bethel.

    (My memory is going so correct me)

  • Elsewhere
    What is the Bethel Elder Arrangement?

    Branch Organization Manual pp 2-1, 2-2

    6. BETHEL ELDERS: Bethel elders are those who
    qualify to serve in a special capacity in Bethel in addition
    to their assignment as elders in a congregation. They are
    appointed by the Governing Body from recommendations
    made by the Branch Committee. The qualifications
    of all brothers in Bethel who have served as congregation
    elders for at least three years should be reviewed at
    least once each year
    to see if they qualify to be recommended
    as Bethel elders. Recommendations to the
    Governing Body by the Branch Committee should show
    the date of birth of those recommended, date of baptism,
    and the reasons why those recommended should be
    Bethel elders.

    7. Qualifications of all elders are found in 1 Timothy
    3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:2, 3, and in other scriptures.
    A Bethel elder not only meets the Scriptural qualifications
    for elders in a congregation, but does so in a fuller and
    more complete way, so that he is equipped to handle
    more exacting responsibilities in the realm of Bethel
    service.—Luke 12:48.

    8. The qualifications as stated in 1 Timothy 4:12 to be
    “an example to the faithful ones in speaking, in conduct,
    in love, in faith, in chasteness” should be applied when
    recommending a Bethel elder. This would include his
    conduct in the home, at work, at the table, and in all of
    his affairs, even those outside of the congregation. Does
    he build up and support the operation of the Bethel
    home, or is he unjustly critical and a complainer? Does
    he take his assignments cheerfully and is it pleasant to
    work with him? Is he approachable and one whom the
    brothers would want to go to with their problems? If married,
    does he fulfill the Scriptural requirements of a
    Christian husband? Is he a good example for all in the

    9. Very young brothers or those new in the Bethel family
    who have not demonstrated their qualifications long
    enough would most likely not be recommended. The
    Branch Committee should not be hasty in making its
    recommendations even though some persons may qualify
    in their local congregations. (1 Tim. 5:22) If in doubt, it
    is best to wait. But all who do qualify should be recommended.
    Circuit and district overseers who become
    members of the Bethel family may be recommended
    whenever it is felt appropriate, perhaps after a short period
    to adjust to Bethel service, if it appears they qualify.
    One who is a Bethel elder would not usually be removed
    unless guilty of serious misconduct. Older brothers who
    are elders may not be able to speak as well and do as
    much in the field service as some of the younger brothers,
    but there is no reason to remove them if they do
    qualify Scripturally and their judgment is good. These
    older ones do serve as fine, loyal examples in the congregation
    of God and at the Bethel home where they live
    and work.

    10. It may be that a brother qualifies as a Bethel elder
    because of his good judgment and is well respected and
    can give wise counsel to the brothers and sisters. However,
    he may not have all the qualities of a public
    who could be assigned out to serve other congregations.
    The Branch Committee could recommend
    him as a Bethel elder, but he would not be used for
    speaking assignments. Later on he may improve and
    could be used as a public speaker also. The Branch
    Committee will decide this when appropriate.

    11. In some larger branches it may be advantageous to
    have elder groups made up of Bethel elders to share in
    the responsibility of assisting the Branch Committee as
    they take care of the brothers and sisters who are members
    of the Bethel family. (Titus 2:6, 7) The elder groups
    may help in making recommendations or with any problems
    that individuals may have. In this respect they do
    not decide on the every-day operation of the branch or
    changes that are to be made. They principally assist in
    giving commendation and in caring for personal problems.
    Of course, the Branch Committee is free to seek
    information or suggestions from such elder groups.

    12. Branches should arrange to have a Bethel elders’
    twice a year. Responsible Bethel elders can be
    asked for their suggestions on subjects to be discussed.
    Thereafter, the Branch Committee can assign committee
    members or selected Bethel elders to develop outlines
    and present these in brief talks to the assembled elders.
    This regular communication with the Bethel elders is
    helpful in keeping them well informed and provides an
    opportunity to encourage them and assists them to fulfill
    their responsibility within the branch arrangement. The
    Branch Committee may request sample outlines from
    the Personnel Committee for such meetings if they desire.

  • LDH

    GREAT INFO, thanks Elesewhere

  • sir82

    I'm not the world's deepest thinker, but I don't see the reason for this. I've never served in the "big house", but isn't "Bethel Elder" just basically like an informal counselor? I.e., kind of like a congregation elder, but his work is related to "spiritual" matters that affect Bethel life. Like if Joe Bookbinder has a problem with Freddie Gluesticker while at work, they go to a Bethel elder who reads them 25 different scriptures on "putting up with one another", and they go on their merry way.

    Virtually all significant decisions of the past 10-15 years seem to be driven by 2 factors: (1) saving (or making) $$$, and (2) protecting themselves from possible litigation.

    What does [eliminating Bethel elders] do to serve either of those 2 purposes?

    Plus, one would think this would further lower morale, which is likely quite low anyway ddue to the looming downsizing. For those who are really into that sort of thing, being named as a "Bethel elder" carried a certain cachet, and perhaps enabled some to better endure the drudgery of day-to-day work. Why take away a"feather in one's cap"?

    Or is the role of "Bethel elder" more significant than I have understood it to be?

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