*** w71 11/15 pp. 700-701 A "Body of Elders" with Rotating Chairmanship ***
ELDERS APPOINTED TO VISIT CONGREGATIONS
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.