It wasn't that long ago that we had a CO who after the Friday night MS / elders meeting told us that an abled bodied appointed man should consider pioneering at least once a year. I never saw this followed up with any punitive action by those that didn't. Maybe this will be the start.
Call me paranoid, but its possible that this 30 hour initiative is a weeding out process....a cull if you will...
I think the 30 hour aux pio for April letter is to excite the cong. My wife told me that several in the cong have already requested aux pio forms to fill out for April. This will be a feather in the GB's hat to show how Jehovah is blessing this organization.
Reading too much into this..... it is a trial run!
IF successful they will weigh how many would consider keeping up the Aux Pio or doing it far more than once a year.....
Ya it is a trained monkey act but it could result in less time on the hampster wheel!
1 hour a day (if you have ubm or undunked kids it is less).......
Score all the hours in one week by just leaving a publication in your car's dash in the parking lot of your job!
Cantleave, I can imagine the words now: "Brothers, you have these privileges in the congregation because you at one time were seen as 'taking the lead' in many things-- including the ministry. Really then, you should think seriously whether you still meet these qualifications if you cannot 'buy out the time' to pioneer even once during the year. If you cannot 'buy out' even 30 hours during the 'Special Activity' of the Memorial season, can you still be viewed by the congregation as 'taking the lead'? If not, it may be worth considering whether you are continuing to meet the qualifications needed for your responsibilities."
This is exactly what prompted my earlier comment about someday making this an implicit/explicit requirement to continue serving as an MS/Elder.
You can tell her that you've made up your mind... you're gonna do it!
30 minutes at lunch each day, plus two 15 minute coffee breaks a day, at work = 20 hours
1.5 hours on each of 4 Saturdays and an hour each Sunday = 10 hours
TOTAL = 30 hours
Sign up for it, then just report that you irritated your co-workers for an hour a day on your breaks. Go out on weekends only, as usual.
Don't forget to count the RVs!
Oh, yeah, if you toss a tract out the window on your commute to work, it's not littering, it's Informal Witnessing™ and you can count the time you spend driving to work!
I wouldn't call it paranoia.
But this is simply to run up the numbers and later trumpet how many more have participated in the pioneer work.
Don't read too much into this.
Rub a Dub
Admittedly, I hadn't thought of your point. I'm sure this is not a direct effort to "weed" anyone out of the congregation. However, I think it has serious potential for developing into that, especially if the arrangement goes on the books for good. I haven't heard any of the regular publishers talk about it, but my Service Overseer has already informed me that the entire Servant/Elder Body will be encouraged to pioneer to take the lead in spearheading this effort. We usually always get really good support from the Servant and Elder Body with Memorial Season Auxillary Pioneerng, so it'll be difficult to be on the only one out of 18 (13 Elders 5 Ministerial Servants) who does not participate. But, I don't plan on it yet. We'll see how strong the pressure gets. My guess is, a buttload of people in my congregation will jump on the band wagon, and once the feelings of self-righteousness set in and they won't shut up about how they've turned in their application, you'll feel like a total slacker if you don't participate.
I also appreciated the scripture from the letter about not doing anything "under compulsion." My heart hasn't motivated me to go in the ministry in a long time. It's always done under compulsion. I wish it weren't that way, but I can't dillude myself into thinking that going door to door amounts to a hill of beans. It is a total waste of time as far as actually benefitting the householder goes. However, I do think it's a nice opportunity to build friendship, and usually I go out with that spirit in mind. I just wish I didn't have to get up at 7:30 AM on a Saturday Morning to hang out with my friends for 2 hours in a car. I'd much rather be at Starbucks...and sometimes, that's exactly where we go after the meeting for service.
On a related side note:
I attended a Sunday meeting in Tennessee while I was visiting some family this past Summer. One of the first sisters I met asked me if I was a Pioneer, and rather than answer her question, I responded with one of my own: "Do you think Jehovah loves pioneers more than regular publishers?" She just looked at me funny like, "I can't believe he just said that to me." Then she followed after a brief hesitation with, "of course not." She didn't seem sincere.
Witness or not, I was a complete stranger, and I hate it when people try to gauge your spirituallity by what title you have especially when they don't know you from Adam.
misery, I call you parinoid!
However, so am I. I totally thought the same thing, and still do. I have heard CO's talk about how only pioneers will survive the end etc etc etc... i think this is a ploy to make it more reachable and thus encourage more to do it.. but i too see it as a cull...
I am not understanding, why would the WTS not adopt the 30 hr Aux Pio. for all the months all year round eventually? Aux. pio. numbers are dropping like crazy last few years. According to the 2010 Service Report, in the U.S. there were 37,177 avg. aux. pio. - average of almost 3 per cong in U.S./month. Result: the 3 put in 150 hr. total. Now, if those 3 even decide to go down to the 30 hrs but add in 3 more aux pion./mo = 6 x 30 = 180 hrs. = overall increase in hours.
So, if the aux. pios. in U.S. doubled because of the 30 hr. lower requirement (6 per cong.) the hours for avg aux pios would jump from 1,858,850 hrs./mo total to at least 2,230,620 hrs. (or more as some would still remain 50 hr aux pioneer probably).
Worldwide: if avg aux. pion. added also 3 more per cong per month, then, hrs would increase from potential of 14,398,000 hrs monthly to potential to 17,277,600+.
I would have never DREAMED of treating an elder that way!