If you just walk into a local Kingdom hall - those men with the brownest noses - THOSE are probably the elders. So therein you have the selection process
How are elders really selected?
What if a wheeler-dealer wanted to be an elder? Suppose they ask to see the criteria and prepare an Excel spreadsheet showing how they meet the criteria. It would give them an unfair advantage over brothers merely trying to be faithful. My thought is that I tried to become involved in local party politics. No policy discussion occurred. It was a real coffee clache group. This stuff is so subjective.
How do they know how many hours you actually have worked? You could pad the hours by saying you wrote letters to contacts. Most of the time if I wanted to purchase a WT or Awake I could not garner the attention of the JWs in the train station. All they do is talk with each other. During the am and pm rush, they have no interaction. All they do is display the WT and Awake on a separate table. I ran into a Witness once on the train who seemed classier. Altho I told her my true feelings for WTS, she wrote me a personal letter with clear handwriting on nice paper. I was shocked.
Ain't by Holy Spirit!
You're right, 21stcenturywoman, congregational politics has alot to do with it. Self promotion also plays a part (the theocratic term for self promotion is 'reaching out').
God looks on the heart. Biblical elder qualifications are based on calling, character, love for God and His people, servant-heart, etc. The JW elders I have met have come across ruthless, though some are no doubt sincere, good people. Young Mormon missionaries call themselves elders also, even though they are not in God's eyes. With privilege comes responsibility. I would not want to be in JW elder shoes.
When I was growing up I was told that the "Holy Spirit" assisted in the selection of elders.
So did I.
Reality is that the other suggestions are closer to the truth of the matter:
The PO (COBE) in the new cong was a very, very close friend of his.
those men with the brownest noses - THOSE are probably the elders
It was a real coffee clache group. This stuff is so subjective.
A brother in my congregation brown-nosed for years, the stink of sh$t preceded him where ever he went. I have never seen any one so desperate or ill qualified to be an elder. Then, I don't know how, he was appointed. He and his wife strutted like lords.
He went on holiday, came back and was removed a week later, not even a MS. A record I think. Three weeks for thirty years brown nosing.