I resigned as an elder August 2006
It depends on your point of view. The borganization needs more elders,
so they don't control their lives and actions so much. If they went to
college or their wife or kids did, that's okay. If they don't support one
pioneer in the family, that's okay. If they need to miss some meetings,
it depends on the local congregation and CO, but often okay.
As mentioned, letters to BOE and procedure passed on from the CO
do dictate everything that should go on at the KH. Many rank-and-file
feel free to complain to CO or WTS if things aren't the same here in
one cong.as they are in other cong. across the land. You could go to
virtually any cong. and it would seem the same.
Judicial matters are controlled by the letters and Flock book, and
CO's have instructed in a way that most all of them would turn out
the same, no matter who handled them (plenty of exceptions for
family members, but again, whichever elders handled the family
members would let them off with a warning). Anything complicated- you
gotta call Mother (Might change with recent court rulings, even that will
be done according to Mother's procedure).
The only difference I see is in SHEPHARDING. For some unknown reason,
(lawsuits, I expect) the WTS has never given out written instructions on
how to carry out shepharding. When it is discussed, they remind the elders
that WTS is not going to tell them how to do this, they just want to know
that it is being done.