Agree with Cofty & DaCheech Leslie
The Decline of Elders and Ministerial Servants
i know of several cong that desperately need "help" at MS and elder positions. all the men in my opinion dont try hard enough if you will.. Its not that hard. Get 10 hrs in fs, participate at meetings, and dont get caught doing anything "wrong". Im sure they are just in it for the ride.
There are some very lazy bros out there, especially the young and pampered generation. Others know it is a scam, so why participate when you can help people in a real-world/ practical and loving way? You can do more to help by not being a MS or Elder under constant scrutiny in some situations. At least that is what I have found.
It comes as no surprise that there's a lack of brothers. The existing bodies are getting older and when you have over 75% of all young adults and early 20-somethings leaving the organization, of course there's going to be a shortage. With the economy in the shitter people have to work more and miss meetings and service, which will dq someone for those privileges. For those that manage to qualify they are just in for more thankless work anyway.
I was the super MS in the congregation. Need a last minute part on the service meeting? They'd ask me. Need a last minute public talk in a congregation 2 hours away? They'd call me Saturday night. I did stuff before, during, and after the meetings. The other MS in my congregation were a joke. Terrible speakers and they hated taking on more responsibilities. I understand why they didn't like it, but then again, why sign up for the job. Anyway, it's funny that after years of that, all it takes is a few months of depression, missing meetings and service until they deleted me. Of course they re-assured me of their love and how they want to help me.
What's even funnier is that a day after the elders told me, the secretary called to see if I could do a last minute public talk. He had balls, I'll give him that. It's been about a year now, and I've had exactly one 45 minute shepherding call. It took the elder about 2 minutes to get to the point: why aren't you at the meetings. I gave it to him straight. It's boring, I don't care about anyone there. He said that the congregation misses us blah blah blah. So I asked him why I've only heard from like 2 people in the hall in the past year. He didn't have much to say to that.
I know profanity is not allowed here, but I'll take my lumps. Fuck em. Fuck the elder bodies. Most are there just to climb that ladder and hopefully be a CO or whatever some day. The rest are there because they want to exert their will and opinions on the cong. I've only come across a handfull of elders and like one circuit overseer who I would say actually cared about the congregation and weren't interested in promoting their own agenda or bringing down a hammer of any sort.
What benefit is there to serve as a hounder? They get to molest children in the name of "shepherding" them, with the goal of ruining their lives. They get to order people around, including getting rid of things that are neutral--under the "brazen conduct" rule. Thus, they can act like tyrants and take all freedom away--one hounder doesn't like red, another hates blue, another hates green, so what's left?
Aside this obvious benefit, nothing. You don't get extra in the New Dark Ages. You don't get any material reward now. You don't get more lenient rules to abide by--if anything, you have to abide by even stricter ones. There is much work, and often you are expected to expend yourself on behalf of others in financial ways as well as with time. For what?
I recall a talk at a circuit assembly about 5 years ago given by the DO himself. He PLEADED for the young men to reach out. "JEHOVAH needs you! Don't you want to give back to your loving creator?"
"They don’t give them any kind of real training for the job."
Of course! They think this happens magically via holy spirit!
Jehovah's Witnesses in the last 40+ years have had two 'peak times': the run up to 1975 and the Live Forever book period of 82-95. Since then, they have peaked.
For both times, the key to those periods of growth was that being an elder meant something, and thus, the GB was able to count on relatively strong leadership locally.
Since '95, the changing of the Generation teaching and the rise of the information age (thank you Internet) has caused young men to look on the Internet for two things that would disqualify an elder; porn and real information.
Cults thrive in a bubble. JWs can't legislate information control like they used to be able to. The drip like growth of JWs in Western nations demonstrates this vividly.
Today, most JWs do take a peek about what is said on the Internet. Most know a little about the Conti case. Most new elders are stunned at the sheer amount of letters from the Service Dept on how to handle pedophiles. If you've ever had to handle a pedophile case, it will make you ill. Anyone with a small bit of humanity hate sitting on JCs. Most elders know that 1914 is a joke, and probably are running side bets on when the GB will change the Generation doctrine again.
You add that up, and it's a disaster. Here's what I predict for the future:
Circuit JC's, where the CO and Service Dept pick who is on them.
A return to a small group, or even one, main elder per congregation.
One extremly qualified ex-elder that was in my bookstudy consistantly turned in only 6 hrs field service. I knew he did at least 10-12. I asked why? He said "so he wouldn't get pestered to be an Elder again"! LOL.
I always felt that the elder who was in charge of the TMS had one of the toughest jobs (I assisted two over a 3 year period when I was a MS). The scheduling took time and then the night of the meeting you were constantly checking on who was there and who was not. And then, if a person didn't show up, quickly try to find a substitute.
It is far too much work and stress than it needs to be.
The Society should simply provide a DVD with the student talks on it so that in the event someone does not show up, it is simply a matter of playing that particular talk from the DVD, just like playing the songs.
With their website, the talks could even be downloaded for the week, month, year, whatever. They already have the Bible in audio form. The TMS in audio would take a lot of stress off the elder doing the TMS.
Rub a Dub