Shepherding Calls Question

by garyneal 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • garyneal

    Just a brief question concerning this practice.

    My wife is about to get her annual shepherding call. Frankly, I did not know that this ‘routine’ practice existed. What is the purpose of it?

    My wife tells me that the elder said that this was common but beyond that she did not know what to expect. Frankly, I thought these things occurred when a witness is considered ‘spiritually weak’ either due to a fade or because the elder is fishing for a reason to disfellowship the individual.

    What should my wife and I expect (not that I am going to be too big a part of it).

  • leavingwt

    If you're present, it will mostly be a sales pitch. SOME elder bodies do shepherd the spiritually strong. Others focus on the problems only.

  • NewChapter

    Gary, some elders are pretty organized and they do shepherding calls on everybody. It's not always a warning sign. I've had them. The elders come in with their bibles and just have friendly conversation. They try to make sure all is well and then they share some "encouraging" scriptures and prayer. If something comes out in the course of the conversation, they will focus on that. It's supposed to make everyone feel upbuilt and cared for.

    Start a carpentry project and run a power saw throughout the visit!

  • Lore

    Depends on the congregation a bit.

    In our last congregation while I was growing up we never got ANY sheperding calls. The elders only did sheperding calls if they think you messed up.

    But then we moved to a new hall and they did sheperding calls on everyone at LEAST twice a year no matter what. They'd usually ask how everyone was doing, if they had any questions or concerns, if there were any goals the elders could help you reach. etc.

    If your wife is in a congregation where they are routine then she should expect them to pray with her, read a few scriptures. They'll probably have a REALLY short prepared talk or article they want to read with her. Then they'll ask her what her spiritual goals are. Odds are she'll make something up real quick to avoid looking like she doesn't have any goals. And then they'll try to help her reach it.

    So if she says she wants to conduct a bible study, they'll probably arrange for a pioneer to hand a bible study off to her in a few weeks. So 'be careful what you wish for' they might help you get it.

    The whole thing normall only takes about 15 minutes.

  • garyneal
    So 'be careful what you wish for' they might help you get it.

    Hmmm, well I hope for her sake she does not indicate that she wants more FS or bible study time. She's about to go back to school for her last year and the last thing she needs is more obligations on her plate.

  • Ding

    Have her tell the elders her spiritual goal is to improve her family time alone with her husband.

  • mummatron
    The whole thing normally only takes about 15 minutes.

    I wish ours had! They never seemed to want to leave ours, it would normally take 2 hours (I blame my Mother's double choc chip muffins). I used to get really embarassed when they prayed for us at the end of the visit and wondered if they really cared or were they just going through the motions themselves..?

  • fallen_princess

    We got a sheperding call right at the beginning of our fade. Its ususally pretty painless and most times if the elders dont know you too personally wont try to delve too much into your personal life. Just tell them what they want to hear and dont attend the meetings afterwards.

  • aristeas


    Is your wife active? Are you a Witness? If so, are you active? One of the reasons why they make calls is because of the CO visit. Hence the 'twice a year' noted above in Lore's comment. When the CO visits, he's got a set procedure (directive from HQ) and one item is to check on those who are known inactive ones in the territory, sisters with unbelieving husbands, etc. It could be b/c of this policy.

  • Glander

    I have made my share of these so-called shepherding calls. It was all organized by the body of elders as directed by the CO. Who had a good rapport with who? the elders were assigned pubs to smooze. A list was drawn up, etc. You were supposed to set up the visit ahead of time but a lot of elders were too lazy or socially inept so they just "dropped by". What a fuster cluck. Many elders were competent enough to interact in the KH environment but had zero people skills for such home visits.

    The unfortunate side effect was that the elder, after a clumsy stab at bonding with the weaky-sicky-newy in their home, would revert back to ignoring them at the meetings. Many people were hurt or offended by "shepherding" efforts.

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