Next big announcement: All Circuirt Overseers Sacked!

by slimboyfat 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • DT

    This will certainly make changes possible. It would even be possible for a CO to visit two congregations a week with a suitable rearrangement of meeting times. Or I could see COs being expected to do secular work for a day or two a week and get less funding from the Society.

    However, my opinion is that the WTS will want to keep the CO arrangement in roughly it's present form. It provides an excellent return on investment. The Society needs COs to maintain control, advocate for building new halls or remodel old ones and "encourage" older publishers to put the society in their wills. The COs are salesmen and having fewer meetings will allow them to make more sales and boost the Society's finances.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they start having assistant COs that work under the direction of the CO and make short visits to congregations between CO visits or visit troublespots and difficult judicial committees or help with incidents that could incur liability. They wouldn't have to be paid and could extend the COs power. It would also make it easier to see who are the best salesman that can be promoted to CO.

  • SnakesInTheTower


    I could expect them to have less C.O.'s before they get rid of them altogether. Maybe they would visit once a year.

    I think this is the most plausible idea when it comes to CO's... I cannot see the Borg giving up its eyes and ears in the field. Currently there are about 500 circuit overseers under the oversight of the US Branch..all of whom are appointed by the Governing Body...along with about 50 District Overseers that are NOT appointed by the GB, but rather by the Service Dept of the Branch from among the pool of GB appointed COs.

    Imagine, especially in the more urban areas, you could have the CO visit once a year. That would reduce the need down to 250 COs... maybe less.... a CO gets on average 3 weeks vacation.... then there is the District Convention Week,..the SAD weekend...the 2 (or more) CA weeks.... and at least 2 weeks of Pioneer school....and usually its not an official visit during the week of the Memorial if I recall (I could be off on that, my memory is failing on this)... so the CO is already only "serving" congregations at most 44 weeks of the year. If you combined 2 circuits (of about 20 congregations each)....into 1 circuit...that would be 40 weeks a year with congregations.... he would still have to have multiple SADs and CAs because most locations cannot handle that large a crowd.... I can see them shuffling congregations around into new circuits (it is getting ready to happen here I just heard) as to maximize the use of the Assembly Halls..... when was the last time you went to an assembly and the house was full? how many empty seats? And there would still be a couple weeks available for the CO to come in and put out a fire for troublesome congos...

    Rural areas it might be that the circuits would become even larger than they already are....but that is where the shorter meetings would come in handy.... instead of just Monday as a "off" day/travel day....they could have Monday and Tuesday completely off... Urban areas, the CO could be used for other nefarious

    Just some further speculation...but I seriously doubt you will see the end of regular COs..... just a thought...

    Snakes ()

  • Marvin Shilmer
    Marvin Shilmer

    The notion of cutting the traditional CO position is not a new one. The Brooklyn hierarchy has discussed this many times. When the position of “substitute CO” was organized many years ago one justification was to lay groundwork for precisely the move Slim suggests above. Prior to these substitutes, COs from neighboring circuits would do double duty to cover an unexpected absence.

    More recently, there was another move laying groundwork for such a change. When “special assembly days” were organized, again the justification was raised that such a program would dovetail nicely with a scenario where the position of CO was abolished. Of course the Watchtower would not want to disrupt its cash-cow assembly/convention program by deglamorizing the program (i.e., no CO speaker). In place of the COs it was considered that special speakers from outside the area would be assigned as direct Watchtower reps, sort of like getting a Bethel speaker. This would keep the glitz in an assembly program but get rid of some serious overhead.

    There is one thing holding Watchtower back from jettisoning the CO position—control. The fear is that if locally based elders are used these would become regional powerbrokers. In short, the fear is that a centralized system would become decentralized. When the Watchtower finds a way around this concern, the position of CO will become a thing of the past, of course all in the name of “simplification”.

    Predicting change in Watchtower management is as simple as performing a business analysis and looking for a better model. Whatever is good for the business of the Watchtower is the engine behind its changes. The upcoming change is probably stirred from ongoing surveys the Watchtower has had COs and DOs conduct over the past few years where particularly parents were asked about issues impinging meeting attendance. Overwhelmingly the feedback was (and continues to be) that there are just too many meetings.

    Marvin Shilmer

  • slimboyfat

    So it seems clear the Society would like to save money by not having to pay for Circuit Overseers any more. The only problem as Marvin notes is that potentially this could disrupt the power structure away from the centre into local factions. In fact this is the exact same problem Russell and then Rutherford had with Pilgrims and why they were abolished: they became too powerful. But money is tight now, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

    It seems that the Mormon Church manages to maintain a centralised authoritarian structure without paying for any of their representatives:

    So it should not be beyond the ken of Witness leaders to work out a system to do the same. The financial incentive to eliminate Circuit Overseers must be considerable.

    So I think it is possible the abolition of the book study is in preparation for part-time voluntary regional Overseers to replace expensive full-time Circuit Overseers and to make the congregation schedule compatible with that.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    Interesting comments. You may be on to something here. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why the WTS would cut back to 1 midweek meeting. Although the suggestions put forth about lack of conductors (they are so desperate that I, now an ex-elder who is barely visible, have conducted several times over the last few months), and lack of homes (a very real and long standing problems) are legit, I know there's something more to it. Becoming more user-friendly? That doesn't seem to fit into their MO.

    What does fit into the MO is saving money. I am convienced that everything the WTS has done in the last 20 years whether its adjusting meetings, adjusting campaign strategies, paperback books, donation arrangement, or eliminating food service at assemblies is all about improving the bottom line. So, while this will be spun as a goodwill gesture - and maybe it is to keep the r&f a little happier - I really think there is a cost savings associated.

    Eliminating or reducing the number of COs is a plausible motive. Certainly, this will free up KH space and allow even more congregations to share KHs. Interesting times.

  • minimus

    And I don't think COs have the same power that they once enjoyed.

  • RubaDub

    I wouldn't expect a total abandonment of the CO position, just that he would be scaled back and just visit each congregation every 9-12 months instead of every 6 months now.

    Just that change would reduce the number of CO's needed by 30-50 percent. In terms of real dollars, that is huge. And it still allows Brooklyn to "keep the pulse" of what is going on in the congregations.

    Without a CO, there would be too much local control of the congregations.

    Rub a Dub

  • Zico

    Is it possible they'll introduce a new meeting? Maybe a regular field service practice session.

    I can't see it being replaced with evening field service, in some areas it's just too dangerous to go out when it's dark, and some householders might find JWs calling in the dark intimidating.

  • Hope4Others
    I think getting rid of the book study is pretty tragic. Meeting in each others' homes and having a cosy time together

    Considering that we were told for years that this would be the main information depot for when the great tribulation hits, meeting in small groups. Now

    combination with the other 2 meetings at the Kingdom hall makes them sitting ducks.


  • buffalosrfree

    If in fact a change of some kind is going to take place, it may have to do with a lot of bro's and sis's biting the bullet so to speak, the dub only watchtowers have been stressing kissing ass (Oh I mean obedience to to GB) and being faithful and let us do your thinking for your type of nonsense. And unfortuanately the rank and file are eating it up and are moring than willing to swallow more discipline.

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