By the way, I very much enjoy the stories. Keep them coming.
When you receive an ...shepherding visit, why not express appreciation ..?
The only 'shepherding visits' I received was when I started reading the Bible without consulting the bountiful table of Jehover prepared so delectably by the Faithful Slave. I had been fading for almost 2 years when that happened. The visits became more numerous and intense. Saturday mornings were a real bitch at the ponderosa. The ex would
berateencourage the kids to get dressed and head for the Hall at around 8:45. By 10 A.M. 2 or 3 elders would be banging at the front door. "We were in the neighborhood (really? I lived about a mile outside our territory) and wanted to see if you were homehow you are doing."
One time I had to go on a 'shepherding visit' to the brother who had introduced me to the 'Truth' . What an embarrassment for all of us. I had known this family when we were all 'worldly' and two a$$h**les on the BOE wanted me to put pressure on them to do more. I stuck around for almost 10 years after that little incident because I was so afraid Jerhover would off me forever at the Big A if I escaped the 'Truth'..
I would certainly express appeciation, after recovering from the shock of any interest being paid at all. I actually suggested it the last time I had occasion to e mail am elder "Oh yes, must do that some time" he said - that was at least two years ago. Sister BluesBrother is an active publisher but they ignore her too.
Still, we miss nothing. One of the problems is that (when I was involved in doing them) we were told to prepare them around a theme scripture and impart some little spiritual gem to the person. That means that he comes prepared to give a little talk, as if the person really needs it ..The point should be to get the person talking about what is relevant to them. That is what I tried to do - although I admit it was never easy to fit them in .
When a C/O did visit us, he spent an hour in small talk , complaining about the Circuit car ! as though I should be sympathetic ? I would love a car provided for free...
I have the same experience as you. Wife still active but to my knowledge she gets no positive encouragement.
As for me, I stopped going to the meetings had the usual round of elders visits in the first couple of months but since then nothing for about 2 years.
My guess is that they are embarassed to come and see me. What would they suggest; a Bible study for some one who grew up in the 'truth' and served as an 'appointed man' for 30 years?
Shepherding is a nonsense - for a religion that has no idea of what true Christian communion is about.
What I realised in my days as a JW was that the elders will never visit you out of true interest in your person but only if you stop contributing to the WTS, their real aim is self interested in other words they want to bring you back to labouring for the org.
I've never had a shepherding call, and don't want one either unless they send that hot single elder here, alone.
My husband and I have been the recipients of elder shepherding calls. They are BS.
Some elders came into our home one night requesting a meeting with us because they wanted to ask us questions about one of my brothers, who was an elder, but got deleted because he stood up for what was right and denounced the wrong things the elders were doing.
My response to them was not to come into our home and ask us questions. He was not even in our congregation. Therefore, I instructed them to ask the elders in his congregation questions and do not bring their nonsense to us in our home or local our congregation.
Also, they tried to tell me and my husband we should not support my brother in his thinking, actions, etc. (This was because I, one of our other sisters (there are five girls and three boys in my family) , my sister-in-law (his wife), and another brother accompanied my brother /elder to Bethel and we had a up-front and in-person meeting with the so-called great J.R. Brown,Spivey, and some other goony brother at Bethel because of the problems my brother/elder was experiencing in his congregation.) I promptly told these elders making this shepherding call I will support my brother if I want and whatever he decides to do with his life as far as the JW orgranization is concerned, is alright with me.
Then they tried to insinuate and instigate that my attitude towards helping my brother was putting a strain on our marriage, since my husband really did not indicate any support or non-support as respects my brother and his actions. My husband and I were appalled and advised that there was no strain on our marriage. We advised them that as a married couple, we respect each other views when it comes to the organization whether or not we agreed. And neither of us put pressure on the other to conform or believe what our conciences did not dictate.
I quoted them some scriptures which they really could not respond to.We never heard from them again as respects this subject.
Just a note: So my husband let me rant and rave any time I was up-set with the organization and if I wanted to support my brother, he never stood in the way. On the other hand, I never tried to pressure him to believe what I believed. I knew that time, experience, and patience would let him see the 'light' for himself. And later in years other experiences proved just that. Today, we have basically 'faded' and feel very good about our actions and non-involvement with the JW organization.
My point- the JW shepherding calls are really 'lynch mob' inquisitions to get you to either pledge your full allegience to the organzation ( not Jehovah God, or Almighty God, or Jesus Christ) or to get out of the organization either by DF or DA.
This is clearly a 'cult' and only those who will abide by the 'cult's bylaws, rules, and regulations will be treated with false love and kindness.
P.S.- Just a note about our meeting with J.R. Brown- I will put myself on the line and say that I am sure he is one of the 'evil slave class' and clearly demonic. You only have to be in his presence to know that in no way is God's holy spirit with this man or many in Bethel. He left us with an unholy bad demonic feeling when we left. It was almost like the demons were peering right through us. Do not be misled. I also spoke on the phone one evening with Theodore Jaracz about my brother/elder's problem and wanted him intercede. His response to me on the phone was that the Governing Body does not get involved with the domestic congregational problems because they are too busy traveling and taking care of the JW's internationally. He advised that is why they have the Service Committee and Writing Committee that handles the domestic congregational problems. He would not help me or my brother. (When did Christ not help his followers? Clearly those on top-GB members are demonic and not from Almighty God).
Hi, ronin. Thank you for sharing all that. I love stories where married couples leave together. Bravo to you both.
Over the past 27 years of marriage my hubby and I have had a few sheparding visits .Mostly trying to get us to do more .We always were a good example in the congregation, but my husband never had any desire to reach out and serve as M.S. or elder and this drove them nuts . Two visits that stick out in my mind . First a few years ago at a scheduled visit an elder came alone , he had been stood up by the M.S. that was to accompany him . This Elder had just found out that he had cancer and was very depressed .We ended up hugging him and offering him scriptual encouragement . When he left our kids looked at us , and said that was the strangest sheparding call we've ever received. It was the best one we ever had because we felt so good being able to help him out . The next visit I recall was last year after we had started missing a few book studies . The elder wanted to know why we were discouraged, and if it had anything to do with my past feelings that 1975 hadn't been the end ! WTF I have never believed in that . In fact my mom was one of the few level headed ones that took no stock in a date and she taught us kids to think that way too. So I don't get how he thought that . The older Elder that came with him remembered ones in his hall selling their homes ect. over that date . Even though I explained I never believed in that I am sure it went in one ear and out the other with the younger elder ( he is a true blond if you get my drift ) There just has to be a reason why you miss meetings other than your sick and tired of hypocrisy , being treated like crap , and fed up with favoritism . I hope he comes back some day because now I can add to my list of reasons why I don't attend any meetings !
OK, I'm new here but I remember my final shepherding call beacuse it was the final contact I ever had with any JW's who weren't my immediate family.
I'd moved in one of those small, in-bred narrow minded little village congregations after spending the best part of my young life living in London.
The elders there were on a power trip and got on my case fairly quickly. Even though my landlord at the time, a ministerial servant was later convicted as a paodophile (he was abusing many of the young boys in the congregation and it seems many of the elders had some idea this was going on) they decided that it was a bigger issue that I had visited a local pub with a witness friend a couple of times. This being a sleepy village ithe pub in question was about as debauched as an episode of "Last of the Summer Wine" but they called me upstairs anyway after a meeting to discuss this problem with all the elders.
They told me they didn't think it was the kind of place a young JW should visit. I asked them if any of them had ever been there. They said no. I told them I beleived they were wrong (I was 18 and stubborn at this point!) about it and that it was a perfectly civil place to visit. I mean, it was hardly a nightclub or bawdy bar!
At this point one of the elders (who was later disfellowshipped for picking up prostitutes) lost his temper and yelled at me for daring to question them.
I left the meeting a little shocked by this but thought no more of it until the next meeting when it was announced there woud be a "special talk" . To cut a long story short I was marked, blatantly, badly and improperly. Several of my friends (including ministerial servants and not all youngsters either) told me they would ignore the direction but I was cut up by this bizarre turn and abuse of power.
The following week I was made redundant from my job and, being at my wits end, skipped a meeting to go visit a friend in another town. While in that town I was jumped by several local headcases and beaten up.
I returned to the congregation the following week covered in marks and bruises and obviously just seriously in need of a little TLC
A couple of days later I recieved a shepherding visit from two elders. They told me in no uncertain terms that if I hadn't been so wayward and skipped a meeting I wouldn't have been beaten up, it was a just punishment so to speak.
I kicked them out of my house and never entertained a witness or went to a meeting ever again.