When an elder steps down - does he stay a ministerial servant?

by truthseeker 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • SnakesInTheTower
    no when an elder is removed he cant be reappointed as an elder.

    If an elder is removed, then it is either for disqualification and/or judicial reasons. In either case, it is usually 3 years before said brother can be reappointed, then he must be reappointed as an ministerial servant first. The length of time he serves as a ministerial servant before he is reappointed as an elder depends on several variables: a) the original reason he was removed; b) the need of the local congregation; c) the mindset of the local BOE; d) the mindset of the local CO.

    a) if he was removed for judicial reason, it would likely be longer than 3 years before he is reappointed, depending on the "offense". A subset of a) would be the effect on the local congregation if he would be reappointed as anything. If what the elder did was well known and caused a disturbance, it may be much much longer if ever the brother is reappointed as anything.

    b) The 3 year rule is pretty much set in stone before reappointing as a MS. I know former elders who, after waiting the requisite 3 years being appointed MS, only had to wait one visit after that before being reappointed as an elder. The appointment as MS was a mere formality. Again, this will depend much on c) and d).

    If a brother resigned for personal reasons, he could be reappointed a year later. (I know an elder for whom it was only 10 months, but it had been 2 CO visits, who was reappointed an elder after "stepping aside" for personal reasons. He is now the PO).

    I was deleted as a MS long time ago....it was officially judicial, but only on a technicality so that the 3 year rule could be applied. I was recently removed (NON judicial) as an elder. The new congo I moved to wanted to reappoint me immediately. They had to wait on the letter from my previous congo. Since the letter said I was removed not that I had resigned, the 3 year rule would have applied to me.. Ironically, I could have been reappointed within the year if I had resigned instead like they wanted me to do.........except that I dont give a crap anymore and started fading away as planned...LOL.

    Snakes ()

  • WTWizard

    I wonder if the person is single with no prospects and resigned so he wouldn't have to join the Value Destroyer Training School or get hounded to do so, they would immediately reappoint him (or deny the stepping down in the first place) so they can harass and hound him into that Value Destroyer Training School anyways.

  • Connaughty

    It really depends on the reason that he stepped down.

    If it was because of doing something unscriptural, then he may have to work towards being a MS again.

    I have been approach several times to become an elder again, since stepping down due to health reasons in the past. I have declined the offer. It's different when you know what you can expect when you enter that service. I'm not against helping in the congregation, but, lately I'm tied down with the same health issues, and work situation that makes the eldership duties hard to manage.

    The recent Org book mentions that Elders can step down for personal reasons,and mentions that he should be respected for this decision. The book mentions Retired Elders. These are not Ministerial Servants since they also work very hard, and I find that they work harder than some Elders do.

  • daniel-p

    I didn't mean "removed" in the technical, JW jargon sense. But then again, sometimes the line between "stepping down" and being "removed" is blurred as well.

  • Not Feeling It
    Not Feeling It

    I think forcing him to pioneer would be the bestest punishment evarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  • jwfacts

    If he is 'put down' then it will be for an indiscretion of some reason, and so he would become just another 'rank and file'. However if he chooses to step down he may want to become a MS, in which case the elders could consider him as an MS. This could be because of personal reasons, like needing more time with the family, or he can no longer cope with the stress of eldership.

  • Connaughty

    In reply to Jwfacts.

    Being a MS may also present a challenge. For instance working on the Accounts in a large KH when you are dealing with 4 or more congregations can become challenging. Add the speaking assignments to this as well. This is not a cosy job. Sometimes certain Elder responsibilities are so easy in comparaison to MS tasks. I've seen MS's burn out, and that's because they couldn't say no to other duties piled on them. I do understand that an Elder may make a choice to become a MS, but in my eyes the difference in that the MS doesn't involved himself in meetings. In some cases you could be jumping from the pot into the frying pan.

  • ssrriotsquad

    My experience has shown me it has do with the circumstances of that particular elder.

    Area 1 - Removing

    Elders that are removed are usually for the heavier matters.

    1) I have heard/seen elders removed where they are never to be re-appointed, eg causing divisions in the congregation, apostasy etc.

    2) Elders can be removed for other serious judicial reasons, eg fornication etc. (Sometimes the body may recommend the elder to voluntary stepdown if he happens to confesses the sin before it becomes public knowledge, thus saves them the embarressment of being removed.) Depending on crime depends on how they can be re-appointed.

    Majority of cases there are usually appointed as MS, then at a later date as an elder. 2-3 years time period is usually the standard period, but things can and do happen quicker for many reasons. At times, they may be reappointed directly as an elder without being firstly an MS. Rare, but there have been cases have happened in the past.

    Area 2 - Stepping Down (Voluntarily)

    1) An elder can step down for few reasons, eg family commitments, sickness etc.

    2) Some find that being an elder is not what it cracks up to be, or is out of their capabilities (eg compassionate, long-suffering with the brothers, etc).

    Most common for a elder to step down is usually sickness or family commitments.

    These either have the option where they can go back to being a MS if they feel that they can still handle to 'running of the business' responsilities, but they dont want the teaching/shepherding responsilities. Alot of environmental factors can play in this area too, eg not enough MS in the cong, or they have plenty but they do not wish the elder to feel lonely etc.

    Most of elders that step down, just wishes to be a publisher until things are back in order. When the time is right again, they can be either be appointed as an elder or MS.

    Area 3 - Stepping Down (Forcibly)

    1) An elder that has rocked the bandwagon can be forced to step down by others (especially those who want a tight grip on the cong).

    2) Some elders step down cause they cannot get along with the "Body" and find it better to stay out of the circle.

    In most of these cases, once the elder steps down, they usually will not reach out for any priviledges ever again. True the saying, "once bitten, twice shy".

    Others that want to reach out again either:

    a) are just wanting to get back at the body

    b) are just plain suckers for punishment

    c) are genuinely true elder material, but wishes to get on with things and makes it a learning lesson. (Very, very, very rare)

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