Dilemna on shepherding

by [email protected] 12 Replies latest jw friends

  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    My wife told me of a friend of hers who is going through a difficult time in their life. They are what I would describe as a 'blind follower' of WT teachings, but it does give them structure that would otherwise not be there in their life. Anyhow, this person is having a tough time, the elders know about it and yet not one of them has either visited or called to see how they are!

    This gets me really annoyed, at a time of need there is none given. My dilemna is: Do I contact an elder and point out their requirement so that this person gets some encouragement, or do I leave it and let them continue to be crushed hoping that they slowly see the futility of following men?

  • OnTheWayOut

    Why in the world would you want to send elders to "help" ?

    There is really only a few things they ever say to people:

    Do more in the service.
    Attend all the meetings.
    Study more.
    Pray more. Rely on Jehovah.
    Find balance by doing other things (work, recreation, relaxation, hobbies) less and Cult service more.

    That is all they got.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    Happy at Last, You are in the middle of a dilemna, I suspect, because you have a good heart, and don't want to see more people hurt. And since your wife's

    friend is a JW in good standing, then it stands to reason, that her elders should be there for her for what ever guidance or help she needs. Will she get said help?

    Would there be repercussions for you and your family, if you told an elder...he has a little lost sheep...that needs some help? Yikes. I am glad I am not in your

    shoes. You say the elder body already knows the situation and are doing nothing, as far as you are aware. Obviously, that is how they want to play this particular

    ballgame...sitting it out. Lack of love by my elders, when I needed them the most, is probably what drove me to open my eyes and ears for the first time and do something forbidden...read Ray's, C of C's. Lack of love, has driven lots

    of "faithful" JW's out. Maybe that is the very catalist, these JW's need. I never planned on leaving. It really was just circumstances, beyond my control. You see

    their life as structured around their witness life. Who knows. Maybe they really would like to have a life out of the Borg. This seems like this is their first opportunity,

    knocking on their door. There is still time to walk away but still be kind enough, to stay around, and pick up the pieces. Only you now the situation...and how serious it is.

    Just my 2 cents worth...Just Lois

  • GromitSK

    If they wanted to help they'd be there already. Your wife can probably do more for her friend than they can.

    Btw it's dilemma.

  • stillin

    you can forget about counseling an elder. The only things that matter to any of them from the bible are the things that circuit overseers or higher bring to their attention. The little people have nothing to offer to help them improve themselves.

  • Pyramid Scheme
    Pyramid Scheme

    Like the comments above reflect, Elders do very little if any shepherding. I would guess that less than 10% of elders in my experience have the qualities needed to truly provide comfort to those in need. Most are just good company men who have little to offer in the way of assistance.

    As OTWO said, Witness shepherding is typically telling people they are not doing enough, thus throwing another "heavy burden" on their back. Let's add some guilt and demands to do more on to someone already weighted down with the anxieties of life. Ray Franz described this sad reality very well in his books.

    Even those who WANT to do more shepherding are unable to do it because of the relentless demands.

    The saddest commentary - I still have family in, and there is ONE elder in our area (surrounded by many, many congregations - I probably know over 500 elders in my area) who I trust to handle any issues surrounding my family. He is a truly wonderful person. The rest of them, I wouldn't confide anything in, nor would I want them in any of my family's business. Most of them, I think very little of as people. I wouldn't send them to my worst enemy......

    If you really want to show them up - is there a way you could offer some advice/counsel to her? Or, do you know of one "brother" who might actually help the person? I have done this several times with good results. People still see that I am a kind, considerate person who truly does care about them as a person. I still have many people call and ask me for advice and also to vent to someone who will not judge them....some have asked me "Why did you quit serving as an elder?". It has opened some avenue for discussion, albeit cautious on my part.

    "Knowledge puffs up, love builds up"........could there be a better description of the situation in most JW congregations?

  • DesirousOfChange

    Your wife can probably do more for her friend than they can.

    There is your solution. You and/or your wife would be more encouraging to them than what the Elders can offer.

    Elders are totally untrained to handle any issue that a person/family is facing. They go to the pretend "schools", but they get no training. Often all they do is READ through a publication (I recall one that was just READING the Index -- to learn how to do research -- before the WT CD). Would you go to any other janitor or window washer to seek assistance?

    Don't destroy their faith if they need the WTS at this point in their lives. Just take your Bible. Listen. If there's a serious issue, encourage them to seek professional, trained help via counseling, etc.

    Good luck.


  • snare&racket

    Elders.... Painters, builders, factory workers, salesmen, office staff.... How can these people help this woman?

  • problemaddict

    Pyramid.....playing with fire but trying to get a couple jabs in. I relate.

    Hey bud, don't send an elder. Go be a friend yourself. It will mean more, and be better. Might even be able to do like Pyramid Scheme and plant some very cautiously selected seeds.

  • jgnat

    When the elders have left my hubby high and dry, I stepped in to the gap. On one occassion (filling out the blood card) they were embarrassed in to providing him advice and support.

    I have always advised to avoid the elders for counselling support. Can you imagine the damage they would do to a rebelling teenager with a drug problem, for instance?

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