Poll: Successful Reactivations by Elders?
On another thread I told about my latest shepherding experience (passive of course). My wife later told me how it came to be: she attended a Service Meeting in the morning (in Germany we call it Treffpunkt (=Meeting Point) and the CO asked her who she was (funny!). She said that she is my wife and that he intended to come and see me half a year ago but that was not possible. The CO did not remember me (?) but promised to look it up in his paperwork. The next meeting, the PO and CO said to my wife that they will come and see me. And then they came.
I am very frank now: I would have more emotional problems if they had displayed (pretended?) love in the way "We miss you, you were a precious part of the cong. Please come back." I would still see the mistakes but it would be emotionally harder to break away. But now I am even more disappointed. But I am still in (legally), not DA/DF.
I think the JW community is based on four pillars:
I think the beliefs are the less important. I see it with the PO, I see it with my wife: concering beliefs and tenets (right word?) they just say: so what?
I remember talking to an Elder who did not care about the beliefs. He just said: the GB are old men and we will see some more changes. But this is not important to me. I just want to live a meaningful life.
German JW, good points. I see my sister in the same way. She is hooked because she has her complete social network in the cult. She has seen some of the stuff I have shown her and shrugged her shoulders in a "so what" fashion as well.
When we became inactive we got some shepherding calls which annoyed us to no end. Once the elder said to us, "You cannot have Jehovah's spirit if you're not going to the meetings." I wanted to kick him in the mouth!
Another time we were laying naked on our living room carpet and they knocked and rang our doorbell way too many times. They knew we were home. We decided to moan and groan loudly so they would hear us and leave. They didn't! That pissed me off because they just didn't care how we felt.
A couple of times they came and said we were "valuable" in the congregation and we were missed. But it was too late. We were gone due to doctrinal reasons -- basically we didn't believe in things like spirit appointment, GB appointed by God in 1914, etc. but we still believed in paradise earth, no eternal soul, etc. Now we don't believe in any of their shitty teachings.
I knew a "sister" who told us that she refused to talk to her own sister even though she got reinstated because according to her, she had only come back so she would be talked to by the family. So even if ones do go back, it's rarely for good. It's like if I were ever to go back it would be just so my sister would talk to me. And sorry sis but you aint worth it!
Rip Van Winkle,
I enjoyed your post. Perhaps some of our criticism is harsh ,in the sense that the Org makes it hard for elders to prioritise shepherding,although lip service is paid to it. The platform assignments and Clipboard jobs are more visible and are the things on which an elder is valued by the body. From experience it was hard to make time fort visits and I still recognise that I did not do enough of it. The rules of the jobs,especially secretary specify that an elder has to perform some quite mundane jobs so it is hard to delegate . I recall being severely critised for refusing to actually count the books in the Lit Cupboard, i left it to the Lit Servant and would have signed his report- but the instruction was that I was supposed to do it personally.
Re C.O.s- My theory is that the men that you and I recall were experienced of the world before they took "The Truth". Probably fought in the war etc, and "knew people " - too many today have pioneered from school and have no experience of life, only spoonfed by the Org,they do what the book says .
Still I am glad they leave me well alone.
I agree wholeheartedly with your observation. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who would like to help with the 'mundane' jobs but in most cases it's control and power. Involving all those who are in good standing makes all feel valuable. It makes the work light and during the process people get to 'know' each other better. In a relaxed atmosphere like counting the literature or other simple jobs it does not require shepherding techniques. It's kind of like expecting a surgeon to take care of a matter that a nurse or a receptionist could handle as well. Let his expertise be put to good use to handle major areas.
Paul said that love believes all things. Where is that 'trust' that we need to have of others. Who says that we need a 'mother hen cluck' who needs to do all the grain finding, scratching and overseeing the little chicks? Let them grow up! ( I guess you can tell that I'm a farmer at heart.)
But too many PO's are into the 'carrot treatment'. They hold out the carrot but never quite let the horse get it. Too often if they have managed to get hold of the carrot they jerk it back out of their mouth and pull a few teeth with it. This is the problem with giving 'little people' a major responsibility. They fail to get the whole picture and this is serious because lives are being ruined due to poor training.
Until there is a realization that Christianity is a team effort and there is no place for people sitting on the sidelines. Everybody has something of value to offer and their offering should be appreciated and encouraged. Getting back to how Jesus talked and walked is an individual decision. But that is what Christianity is still about.
I could relate to your thoughts.