Most JW's are Concerned with Position/Appearance - Not Serving God

by flipper 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    Being raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses for 44 years ( exited 7 years ago ) - I observed many different variables that made each witness tick or operate. But one of the most COMMON variables was witnesses wanting to excel in progressing to positions becoming elders, ministerial servants, or pioneers because then and ONLY then would they be looked at as allegedly " spiritual " or closer to Jehovah. But I learned as years went by that having a " position " in the congregation didn't make a person anymore " spiritual " or closer to God than witnesses who WERE NOT in appointed positions.

    Myself- Having been appointed a ministerial servant at the tender baby age of 20 yrs. old - served 6 years as such. I felt as if I was being groomed to be appointed an elder by the time I was 30 yrs. old and was feeling pressured to do so based on my JW family's history. My dad had been an elder since the early 1950's, my older brother an ex-Bethelite ( 8 yrs. ) and elder since 1972, and a brother in law an elder since 1970. And his wife ( my sister ) graduated Gilead ! So, yeah, no pressure there on the younger brother me- LOL !

    My dad would ask me questions like " Well Mr. Flipper how are you PROGRESSING in the congregation ? How is your STANDING in the congregation ? Are you ADVANCING ? Are you reaching out for ELDER ? " I mean, it was ridiculous. They were already USING me lke an elder, service meeting parts, public talks, etc - but I sense I was being pressured to excel JUST FOR APPEARANCES - and not for my relationship with Jehovah. It was more for appearance for the ORGANIZATION ! Not one time being raised up a Jehovah's Witness did my elder dad EVER ask me " Son- How is your relationship with Jehovah ? Do you feel close to Him ? " It was always outward appearances in either progressing, advancing, or how I appeared in positions within the congregation !

    So finally I just decided after having children in my late 20's to step down and give attention to raising my children up in the witnesses. Gave up positions to be a good dad. However- I was never looked at the same by my then fanatic JW wife, some family, or other witnesses I had known for years. They acted as if i was to be considered " weak " spiritually due to forfeiting positions in the congregation.

    This bothered me for years and not until age 40 ( over 10 years ago ) did I feel comfortable with my decisions as my dear , loving JW mom told me that " position WAS NOT important " to Jehovah and it didn't matter because I was successful in OTHER areas of life like parenting. This really gave me a different view of myself to respect myself not based on what others thought of me - but on what I thought of myself ! I had put all that uneeded pressure on myself to live up to " family legacy " or " organizational appearances " - and it was very freeing to not worry anymore. But it took me 40 years to GET to that point ! Then a few years later- finally felt free exiting the mind control of the WT society ! Have a wonderful life with a great wife who sees me for JUST BEING ME.

    Bottom line though was the desire for position and prominence was nauseating to me. I just wanted to be a normal JW. But I saw there was nothing "normal " about how they operate. What about you folks ? Did any of you have pressure to excel and did you finally come to grips with these pressures ? Did JW family pressure you, or you feel pressured to PROVE your loyalty to God or the WT society by others ? As always I look forwrd to all of your experieces ! Hope you are all doing well ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    When I stepped aside from being a MS, the CO called me personally and told me I was doing the right thing for my family. The local elders were only concerned with who was going to take on all my responsibilities and whether I would be able to still keep some of them. So yeah, most are all about appearances and being able to delegate their responsibilities on to other people, but there are a few around in the Borg who know what's what.

  • wasblind

    I was told that i wasn't progressing fast enough as a bible student, and that after 4 yrs i should now be ready to make my dedication to jehovah even thought i was an unbaptisted publisher i would still be destroyed if i didn't get baptised.

    I thought my baptism would be between me and jehovah to decide year five i stopped attending recieved a few shepparding calls until i started showing them things from their own books that didn't make sense the elders don't like you to stand up to them and i didn't at the hall cause that was their turf.

    but when they came to my house different story cause they don't pay no bills up in this house.

  • onemore

    When I stepped aside (YEAH!!!!!), an Elder asked me if my wife was going to be ok with me no longer being an elder. His tone basically was…will she be disappointed at YOU because YOU are not an Elder? My response was…she’s ok, she knows I need to take a break. The look on his face was classic.

    In the name of redundancy…I’ve never been happier a regular, lowly publisher. Imagine how great it will be once I’m finally an inactive publisher or a fader.

    Onemore (comes from, “one more” publisher, “one more” of the bunch…a brother in my hall once made a comment in a WT study, where he referred to brothers and sisters with no “privileges” as the “one more”, in Spanish… los “uno mas”)

  • OnTheWayOut

    I didn't fully realize it at the time, but I and another "brother" climbed the ladder to MS and elder quite fast because we were recruited as adults and cultivated by an elder in the congregation. He pushed all the buttons on the "body of elders" and looked pretty good bringing men into the organization, but looked even better when those same men were allegedly trained by him to be more "spiritual-minded" than others seemed to be.

    I was such a duped believer that I thought Jehovah saw something in me. I never cared for titles and didn't really want the job, but thinking that Jehovah wanted me to have it, I took it.

    I remember moving to a new city where nobody in the congregations knew me. For a little while, I was not "an appointed" MS or servant. I met the speaker after a talk at my hall and immediately after learning my name, he asked if I had a "position" in the congregation. I said NO without explaining that I just moved here. He asked if I was a Watchtower reader in the congregation. I hadn't even done that, so I simply said NO. I already knew from his talk that "position" was everything to him, so I didn't explain my circumstances. He asked how long I was "in the truth." I told him it was about 8 years. He went on for about a minute about how I needed to reach out and advance, then he moved on to meet other brothers- looking for those that already had "reached out and advanced." Once he found the elders, he stayed with them.

    I was appointed after the next C.O. visit, but I was told it was a battle on the "body" because I was initially appointed so early on and was unknown in this circuit. I also neglected to give the C.O. a green handshake, but that wasn't mentioned. I wish the other side had won that battle, but I again thought Jehovah wanted me to be an elder.

    My new congregation (and entire circuit for that matter) was loaded with elders that kissed the C.O.'s ass to get speaking parts at assemblies and conventions. I never bothered and was never invited to give a talk at any of those events.

    I never thought "position" was all that important. Men might have family responsibilities, many children to feed on their window-cleaner salary and no time to take on the work to obtain titles. People could serve without a damned title, but I am sure I was in the minority. The men always judged other men by their "position."

  • Crisis of Conscience
    Crisis of Conscience

    flipper- Did any of you have pressure to excel and did you finally come to grips with these pressures ? Did JW family pressure you, or you feel pressured to PROVE your loyalty to God or the WT society by others ?

    Feels like time for some personal expression

    I was given many positive "shoves" in the right direction. I've been a servant since I was 18. (I've just given some personal information of myself. Uh-oh.) I enjoyed the attention, but only in the sense that it felt good to make others happy that I was advancing. They noticed it and their encouraging words filled me with joy to serve Jehovah. "You are going to be a good elder one day" was often said. I may not care to admit it now, but many caring brothers took me under their "loving" wings. I don't doubt their sincerity. And I never questioned much because I was so young. I just did things. I thought I was supposed to, to make God happy.

    For years this continued. And the encouragement and privileges I received fueled me. This train couldn't be stopped. I never saw myself as coming to a stop. In fact, I often strived to be that crowbar that would pry my weak friends into action. How could I fail?

    But time spoke to me and made me realize that these advancements, while at times in sincerity were my own desires, belonged to those around me, and their hopes. This is what they wanted from me. And so I continued filling my every minute with spiritual activity.

    But as I advanced in some years, mentally I halted. I came to grips with what I was really doing - pleasing men. Alas (dramatic huh? ) I reached a point of no return of which I now offer thanks - burnout. My eyes opened. And the things that didn't make sense in doubt were now moved to having no sense for certain.

    In realizing that I became a man pleaser I can now say that yes I felt the pressure. But I thought it was right. I now know it is not and am strategically planning how to step down from this man made position of MS.

    Outward appearance is what is looked at and that is fact. Holy sprit is NOT involved. Otherwise people wouldn't still be making false predictions about my "bright, spiritual future". Oh BTW - great topic!!


  • St George of England
    St George of England

    Most of the 'appointed men' I know have no education beyond basic schooling and work in window cleaning, office cleaning, carpet shampooing, janitorial, dustbin man type of jobs. With no disrespect to people who do these jobs whatever, in the case of JW's it is a way they can dress up in a suit, which they never do at work, and also have some 'authority'.

    If you have had, or have a professional life, such things perhaps do not have the appeal.


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Spot on Mr Flipper!

    The ONLY time anyone was interested in my 'relationship' with god was when i dold the elders at my JC that i did not have one.

    The 'gauge' they use to assume it is all good is your position or how you are seen...


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz


    my wife was very upset at how she would look when i stepped down as a M/S and stopped attending...


  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    My old man was really pissed when I took off without warning and without getting baptised.

    He had already swapped countries to get away from heirarchy that were out to get him because they thought he was a threat due to his time spent where the need was great, and now his kid wasn't a model Dub. It took him years to get rid of my stigma. I suspect he might have even come back to NZ before getting his eldership.

    If he ever did...

    He does a sort of imitation of beeing an elder, but he has either lied to me or he hasn't got, or read, an Elder's Manual. Honesty has never been his strong point. That only gets lip service......... and lots of it.

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