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