Can you advise the WTS on what to do about travelling overseers?

by ozziepost 26 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • ozziepost
    The structure in the 1st Century was broadly like the JWs today -

    this is organised centrally.

    Two statements that I'd have to dispute!

    There's nothing in scripture to support a central organisation like the Dubs have, nothing at all. Even the apostles' authority in Jerusalem was disputed e.g. Paul and Barnabas being sent on behalf of the Antioch congregation (church) to protest the actions of some of the Jerusalem church who had travelled there.

    Of course, the WT likes to make out that all the events mirror the WTS' structure but the text doesn't support it, just as it doesn't support the notion of circuit overseers per se.

  • blondie

    Actually, the COs used to stay in one area longer than 3 years. That was a procedure changed about the time of the elder arrangement, I think. The reason for "rotating" the COs was that the CO and elders would get too chummy and the CO would not apply the necessary "discipline" to the congregations.


  • TheListener

    *** w71 11/15 pp. 700-701 A "Body of Elders" with Rotating Chairmanship ***



    Then what about circuit and district servants? Will there be any rotation concerning them? Yes, these the Society expects to rotate to new assignments every two years. Sometimes circuit servants may even be made district servants for a period of two years and then, after being district servants, they may be made circuit servants, depending on what is felt to be best in the interest of the work generally throughout the country.

    These brothers, of course, qualify as elders; that is why they are in these positions. When visiting congregations they will cooperate with the "body of elders" of each congregation to the full and join in their field activities and in building up the entire congregation spiritually. But after servants are appointed during the year or rotate the following year, there will be no need for the circuit servant to recommend any changes, unless the circuit servant along with the whole "body of elders" sees that there is an emergency calling for a change.

    Does a circuit servant when he visits a congregation have more authority than the elders of the congregation and can he change things in the congregation, such as times of meetings, the arrangement of the hall, or change brothers in the various positions of oversight? No! A circuit servant does not have that authority. A circuit servant is simply an elder appointed by the Society to visit congregations to build them up spiritually and take the lead in the field service. His being a circuit servant does not mean that he is better qualified than are the local elders. Often the Society uses congregation servants to be circuit servants on weekends to serve other congregations in the vicinity. These congregation servants or other servants are used because they are qualified to give spiritual advice and counsel. The circuit servant or district servant should never think himself superior to the "body of elders" in the congregation. He should consider himself as an elder sent to the congregation by the Society to give what help and assistance he can offer and to encourage the whole congregation to press on in their grand work. The "body of elders" in the congregation should look forward twice a year to the visit of the circuit servant, who is also an elder, knowing that he will bring some good spiritual counsel from the Word of God and that he himself will set a good lead in the field service.

    Of course, the governing body will have a lot more to say about this in the Society’s publications as time goes on. In the meantime the congregations will function just as they are with the appointed servants, and when September 1972 rolls around, then the congregations having received their appointments of servants will begin to transfer the work over to the new servants during the month of September, and on October 1 the new presiding minister of the congregation will become chairman of the "body of elders" or older men, each handling his overseer’s assignment. Each year the brothers in the congregation will rotate in their respective positions and work together as a body, having just one interest in mind, and that is the welfare of the congregation itself, and they will cooperate and shepherd the flock of God that has been allotted to them.

    These organization adjustments will help to bring the operation of the congregations into closer conformity with God’s Word, and surely that will result in greater blessings from Jehovah. There will be more of a sharing of the load of work in the congregations, and this will make it possible for the "older men" to devote greater attention to the actual teaching of God’s Word and to shepherding the flock, to help each one to keep strong in faith. Also, as we get a clearer view of the matter of overseers, it helps us to focus our attention more sharply on Jehovah God, our Chief overseer, and on the one whom Jehovah has designated as the Head of His congregation, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is now actively ruling as king. As we do this, it will greatly strengthen our appreciation for the way in which Jehovah leads his people.

  • Gill

    Didn't 'Tupperware' have the same 'pyramid system' for their organization.

    There always has to be a travelling salesman on top of the local sales man and he reports to HQ on how the ordinary Tupperware sales person is doing and shows the 'new models' off (or New Light) in the case of the JWs

  • blondie
    The reason for "rotating" the COs was that the CO and elders would get too chummy and the CO would not apply the necessary "discipline" to the congregations.

    I can see why the WTS doesn't want them to stay in one place...their effectiveness as "spies" would lessen. Also, the WTS moves COs to areas to punish or reward them. Would you rather go to sunny California or the cold northern US states, Minnesota, Wisconsin? Or far away from large population centers where they would have to drive longer distances between congregations and no likelihood of having access to a CO's apartment?

    Yes, the WTS knew what they were doing in 1971 when they changed the procedure.


  • blondie

    About that time they changed from

    Circuit SERVANTS


    Circuit OVERSEERS


    District SERVANTS


    District OVERSEERS

    Indicating that they would no longer be "serving" the rank and file but seeing over them from their lofty positions.

  • stillajwexelder

    I could see an argument for getting rid of DOs but not COs just yet. I could also see an argument of having more congregations in a circuit and working the COs harder - or doing less congregation visits especially "Host Visits"

  • candidlynuts

    i dont know much about any other religion.. the only thing i know of to compare the CO's and DO's with is when i worked retail, we had traveling sales managers from HQ that would visit, and they were to sit down with the local managers and go over the income generated and the expenses and then make sure more income came in.

    if income didnt increase, local managers jobs were at risk.

    family member as an elder told me once when he was fretting about CO visit, that the last visit the CO had said if the " numbers" didnt increase, the whole body of elders would be removed and would be replaced by elders " who volunteer to serve where the need is greater"

    seems to have more to do with income generation than a love for fellow man..but thats just my bitter biased cynical opinion.

  • Gill

    Candidlynuts - there's nothing bitter, biased or cynical about that. I think your point is spot on and accurate!

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    I was always told that CO's were rotated out so that they would not be around to build creature worship on the part of weak publishers who would idolize them. Now that I look at it from the outside, I think its the other way around. I think this system actually perpetuates creature worship. If they stuck around much longer they would eventually drop the facade and be seen for who they really are. Now they take a certain, mystique with them when they move on. I was being groomed to be one and I can tell you it was an eye opener to see the form sent to the society with reports of the number of sick and inactive persons they had visited...

    Phoney baloney....


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