OMG. Blondie, that study article is the epitome of why I am so thankful that I don't go anymore. Utterly nauseating. So full of patting themselves on the back that the only thing apparently missing on them is a red cape and yellow boots.
Blondie's Comments You Will Not Hear at the 08-21-2011 WT Study (SHEPHERD)
P3 "Let us consider how elders can enhance their appreciation for the privilege of shepherding the flock of God in their care
In my recent experience they have NO appreciation for the role of shepherds . Sister Blues is only spoken to once a month when she is handed a K/Ministry... I am in frequent attendance, parking my butt on a seat and nothing more, they say nothing except pass the time of day and chat ...
The article talks about David rescuing a sheep from a lion - and says that an elder may snatch a figurative sheep from Satan's jaws ....they would not notice if we were not there..
I wonder how elders felt when this was discussed. Did they squirm with embarrassment and a guilty conscience? I doubt it
Of course if the WTS really wanted this to be done they would set up a programme administered by Circuit Overseers by which every elder was accountable for the his shepherding activity and it was recorded when a publisher had shepherding..... but they save that sort of thing for the Field Misery...
Blondie I had to endure one whole hour of Elders' "self-congratulating" comments during this WT Study.
We have a congregation of 160 publishers with 13 Elders. There are 21 paragraghs to this lesson. One Elder in particular commented 5 maybe 6 times during the whole lesson. Other Elders commented 1 to 3 times. On average there were 2 Elders commenting on each paragragh. That meant less time for the flock to comment.
The whole lesson was a 'brag fest' of the Elders by the Elders. Apparently there is no room nor any need of improvement among our BOE!
You raise a good question for paragraph 15:
Paul was supposed to represent the “traveling overseers” today?Why then do they not labor as Paul did to pay his own way?
I don't know one C.O. or a wife of a C.O. that does not leech off the congregation they visit. Shame on them!
The whole lesson was a 'brag fest'
Brag fest. I love it!!
Right BluesBrother ! The only time they miss us is when half the congregation is gone.
It was always hilarious to see their shock as they said: "Where's everybody at?"
"No one told me they weren't going to be here tonight!" "Was there a game this afternoon?"
"Did someone have a wedding at another hall?" "How come so many of the friend's are missing today?"
"Is it parent, teacher conference night at the public schools?" "Did everyone go on a vacation together?"
The terrified look on the faces of the elder's wives was also, priceless! Funny too was how
the MS's would hang their heads low while carrying the microphones during the meeting.
It was scary though; how the pioneers reared their heads in holy piety, like they never missed!
All during the meeting the elder's would encouraged the group to call those not there.
Then after it was over, start questioning all who hadn't run out the door by then!
This was standard far in some halls, and happened several times a year in the rest.
At one of the local cong, a sister made a comment to prove the love of these shepherds. She said that a 3:00 a.m. she woke up knowing that the Devil was in her house. In total panic, she called an elder for help. He and another elder showed up and looked with the sister through out the house for anything that could bring demonic problems. They did not find anything. The sister knew the elders were loving because they came early in the morning and never said that she was crazy. Later a brother told her that he experienced the same problem, and it was because the mind was still asleep while the body was awake.
The best part was that the WT conductor said that if anyone wanted to call at 3:00 a.m. to not call him but to call another elder.
Aha!!! I found Blondie's latest thread!! Thanks, Blondie!!
I also commented paragraph 15 here: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/214807/1/Fury-after-reading-Watchtower-article-for-this-week
16 The elders shepherd the flock “eagerly.”
Their eagerness is evident in their self sacrificing
attitude in helping the flock. However, that does
not mean that they force the flock to serve
Jehovah; nor do loving elders
encourage others to serve God out of a
competitive spirit. (Gal. 5:26) Elders appreciate
that each sheep is unique. They are eager
to help their brothers to serve Jehovah
quite an interesting even surprising statement. We all know, elders always look at the numbers of the publisher cards. They usually do not care if the publisher is happy, because frankly, they are not happy in doing bring door to door work...
"We must get the job done" attitude prevails.
To me, this paragraph was just another example of the typical double-talk.
I`d like to see the expression in the face of an elder, when he encourages a young single brother, who just reposrt 3 hours a month, and the brother replies: "Its only a few hours, but I serve Jehovah happily" .
It's actually strange that they mention circuit overseers as part of those who don't put an expensive burden on the flock. Every time the CO would visit, we'd get an expense report. It was assumed we would contribute, pay for it, even down to a haircut. I mean, I cut my own hair, for crying out loud. He can't do the same thing to save the 'friends' some money?
Also, the elders are experts at intimidation. They're the equivalent of high school jocks in how they posture all the time. (No offense to any high school jocks or elders out there.) At a certain point, it became clear that talking to them was a waste of time. They had nothing comforting, insightful, or useful to offer. It was like I could just read the Watchtower and know what they were going to say.
My 'group overseer' or whatever frequently didn't greet me all at meetings and I rarely got a Kingdom Ministry each month--I had to go up and ask him for it. If you can't do something even that basic for your--ahem, GOD'S--sheep, one can hardly expect much beyond that. Not to mention it was practically impossible to get him on the phone, especially when I really needed to talk. Which wasn't very often for the aforementioned reasons and because I just didn't WANT to talk to people who didn't seem approachable.
And then there was the real jerk of an elder who basically seemed like he just wanted to know your business and dictate to you what your life should be. "You know you're like a son to me," he once said to me. I thought, 'That's funny, because I never thought of you as a father figure.' Ah, yes--he suggested a drink to help deal with my problems. Ha ha! Well, not surprising he stepped down as an elder not long after that. I think there was even some kind of public reproof or whatever.
Anyway, between those two bozos, an ex-military COBOE who was, uh, kind of a jerk pretending to be a nice guy. And that elder who cleared his throat a whole lot and expected you to fill in the gaps in his sentences that he never seemed able to articulate. Strange times, there.
I always assumed elders were honorable men, though perhaps a bit eccentric at times. But in the end, I could see they were more interested in the administrative part of being an elder than the shepherding part. Unless you did something wrong, then their schedules were suddenly clear...
It's just sad that even this Watchtower article, crappy as it is, holds up a standard far higher than the elders I've known could even begin to reach.