from an organizational standpoint, that translates basically ' to encourage each other to be at meetings and in service. In the distant past I can only recall a couple sisters occasionally approaching me to invite me out in service with them, but for no other reason.
the only goal the ones I know have is to get everyone in the congregation to be pioneers. it matters not if you have a family or a job, which most of them do.
however, they would never ask how my kids were or how things in general were.
The elders never spoke to me, I think I intimidated them. lol
the main topic, if you were privileged enough t be included in a conversation, [inside the kingdom hall that is] was, who is going out when and if they were going to auxiliary pioneer. who went to what country and and 'served' and who was going to bethel, who is going to what convention bla bla, ect , all brag talk I call it.
Of course you have your occasional hospital visits nursing home visits of course, where we would wish to help a person not feel left out, and to keep faith that they will get well, or at least have the hope of good health someday. Those being limited only during the service day hours and usually not after 3 pm. this way they can count it as 'time'
there are some but not many, elders who have the time [biggest [obstacle] or opportunity ,[rbc elders really cant be shepherds or do anything else than care for their own families],
[or desire], to actually encourage someone in other ways, for example, help someone find job, go for that degree, help a family in need of home repairs, or take the children of a single parent along with their family to an outing.
It is simply impossible for people to spread themselves so thin and to be expected to know so many people and keep up with everything.
this is WHY people use the word 'clique' [in a negative way] to describe small intimate groups that hang out together all the time, its mostly families who associate together cousins ect if your lucky to have some in the cong. who has time for much else? Id have been happy to be in a 'clique'. lol
then they org will 'warn' about cliques , and told to 'widen out' really??
how many days in the week do those governing body members have more than the rest of us?
how do they widen out?
in my experience, the only 'encouragement' I ever received, was a ten minuet pep talk at the lunch hour at a special assembly day, in the medical station room, to see how I was 'holding up' after learning my husband asked me for a divorce. They said, if you need anything just ask.
[because it would have taken too much of their time to drive out to my house one night or even call on the phone ]
well i did ask, when i had to move out of the house into an apartment, i asked a sister with a adult son who had a truck, who was supposed to be friends with my son, if he could help move my things, on a sunday.
she said he was busy, and she would let her husband know, who was an elder. he called later in the week asked me what day i needed, and when i said Sunday. he said there was an elder meeting after the Sunday meeting, so they couldn't help,[because you know they take allllll day] but he would see what he could do.
after that day, no one said another word to me. [No one ever called to apologize, no one called to see where i moved to, no one even noticed me gone. ]
I ended up calling my husband [who was 45 minuets away, staying at his brothers temporarily] and asking him if he would please come and move my things. along with my older parents who had no business lifting things, and my son.
my husband said 'where is all your Friends'? he was being sarcastic, because he knows no one was going to help. my son was pretty ticked off, and he never went to a meeting again.
and if that was not awkward nothing was,lol.
i think the word encouragement is misunderstood in the org.In my mind to encourage someone is to be with them when they have a trail and help them trough it.
For example, you 'encourage' your children to get good grades on their work, and how you do that is by helping them learn it better and not hate to learn to begin with. not criticizing them for not getting enough done,or getting it right, but complimenting them on what they did do right.
Or someone who has a sickness that limits them, go help them out and be a friend.
its a pretty easy thing to do if you have any insight.