The Decline of Elders and Ministerial Servants

by Londo111 61 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cobaltcupcake

    My family became JWs in 1972. We used to hear many stories about small congregations in disant territories where sisters did all the MS work. In fact, I knew personally two elderly sisters who had been accounts servant and magazine servant back in the day. Sisters never served as elders, though.

    I myself was the reader at the kingdom hall bookstudy for a few months until a qualified brother could be found. That was in 1978.

    Hah! And here's a good one. My ex-husband (born in) was giving public talks on Sundays when he was 16 years old (1968). Afterward, when his family went to a house for hospitality, he'd go out and play with the kids. Now, there's a spiritual man!

    It would be interesting to see them forced to go back to that low standard. This could be fun!

    The Odd Life of Jehovah's Witnesses


    @ Ronwashington,

    Sorry to hear your story. They suck. Even if you give you heart and soul to them it is not enough. They are a what have you done for me lately Organization. It all depends on the KH you are in. If all the Elders are cool, you may get some fair treatment. The are just decieved men being bossed around by other decieved men. I respect giving your all if you truly believe that your Creator loves you. Once you know the Organization is not God's sole channel for truth and salvation, why give them anything? I am only in because of my family and I am starting a slow fade.

  • hijosdelawatch

    I used to serve in a congregation with plenty of males in their 20s and 30s. Some of them were going to all the meeting, had good FS participation, taking part in meetings and even applying for auxiliary pioneering some months every year.

    Well, no one of them were appointed even as MS.

    In some congregations, only elder's son became MS. These brothers were older than me and they used to call all the MS & Elders as "The Caste" as you could only become MS if you were part of an elder's family. Only exceptions were made with elders coming from other congregations.

    As a result of that nepotism, many of the brothers gave up and some even became inactive.

    This was 10 years ago. Now, I've just heard elders from that place are worried about having no one as a potential candidate for being MS.

  • MrFreeze

    Who would want to be an elder? The job is as horrible as working the lost bags department at the airport with no pay or benefits.

  • jamir

    I was appointed MS 10 years ago. Was very happy at that time!

    After I married, I found the disturbing truth about WT past and lost all confidence in it.

    Since that:

    - 2 yrs ago: my monthly reports dropped from 10 to 4 hours / month.

    - Never served as Aux Pioneer again.

    But, somehow, dispite this obvious change in my activity nobody said anything and I continued serving as a MS.

    - I found that my wife was emailing love msgs to other guy (she never saw). It was very painful to me. There was a judicial committee envolving her, she regret and was not disfellowshiped. I told them I needed a pause in my MS designation - they asked me to reconsider, and said they would decrease my participation in meetings. Somehow, still a MS!!!

    - A few weeks after this judicial committee, me and my wife deparated. STILL a MS!!! (After 7 a month separation, she promissed she would change - I decided to give her another chance)

    - My service report dropped to 2 hours (that I don't even do - it's been 4 months since I dont go to preaching service).

    - I told my wife I don't trust in the organization anymore. She lost her faith and won't even go to the meetings. For 2 months now, I am going alone.

    Somehow, after all this - I AM STILL A MS!!!!

    the reason? they desperatly need "qualified" (well, not-so-qualified) men the help with all the organizational crap. They don't even care about the motivation - it is cheap WORK they need.

  • baltar447

    Wow Jamir. That is nutty that they still keep you as an MS. They must be desperate.

    Sorry to hear about your relationship issues. I'll comment on that, the best thing you both can do is work on rebuilding your relationship together and not letting others interfere. Even if you guys(or she) have slip ups, don't involve the borg. It's your private business. You'll probably find that alot of the reason for the relationship issues are borg related. Even if they aren't, getting out of it and working together as true partners and friends without any interference is the best thing you can do.

  • cantleave

    It was my appointment as an elder and some of the issues I had to deal with that finally woke me up.

    An elder has to deal with a great deal of shit, and is never thanked for it. His family are constantly under scrutiny and and pressure to do more and more is unrelenting. As someone has already stated, most young brothers who have been brought up in the cult, will understand that being an appointed man will result in sacrifices and curtail social activities. Those who accept appointments are often guilted into accepting the role, or deceive themselves that can do some good in the congregation. Reality kicks in very quickly.

    Infighting and politics, verbal abuse by congregation members, unrealistic expectations and very little time to focus on your own family, results in weariness and stress. CO visits, District Conventions and other assemblies are often accompanied by further criticism and additional workload, any joy you once had is taken away.

    Why would anyone with half a brain reach out unless they had no life whatsoever out side the congregation?

    Rant Over - back to trying to move on with my life!

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    amen cantleave! Even if I hadn't woken up, I would have still quit being an elder due to the things you mentioned

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    I haven't read the whole thread (and I never was a JW) so apologies if this has been mentioned.

    Apart from the obvious (power, ego, 'big fish in a little pond') I can't see any reason why anyone would consent to serve in a position of responsibility.

    They may have liability in child abuse cases, of course, as has so well been demonstrated recently. And the 'Menlo Park' fiasco. But I'm fairly sure that as access to information continues to increase exponentially there will be other liabilities. One that springs to mind is 'Data Protection' legislation and its equivalents in various countries. KHs keep vast amounts of personal information, and the keeping and use of this is regulated. Plenty of opportunities for civil and criminal liability.

    I think I've read on various posts that WTBTS in its various guises is distancing itself from local congregations - in that local congregations are to be seen as separate legal entities from WTBTS itself. That could lead to personal liability for elders/trustees. (This is a complicated legal issue and varies by jurisdiction, but the concept of 'personal liability' seems to be increasing in most jurisdictions).

    Even if I WAS a JW, and 'qualified' I would be very, very, wary.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    What Joe said. Let me take the guessing out of it though:

    - The congregations ARE separate legal entities

    - The elders ARE the trustees and thus responsible for anything that goes wrong

    - The WTBTS DOES distance themselves from these congregations as can be seen in the Candace Conti, Menlo Park cases as well as the titles and letters of incorporation. The WTBTS will receive the property of the KH ONLY if ALL debts and dues have been paid for and the title is free of liens. Guess who is responsible if there are liens against it... the members of the congregation incorporated but especially the officers if the members are not incorporated. Incorporation of members depends on jurisdiction but there are congregations where I was asked to sign the membership books.

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