Shepherd #4 - From Arm-pit to Shinning Star

by Amazing 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    Shepherding to Improve Publisher performance

    Part of Shepherding in the JW world is to “take the Lead” in Field Service: Our Congregation was known as the “armpit” of the Circuit. We had a high DF/DA rate, low Pub Hour average, almost no Pioneers, few Aux. Pioneers, and a high ratio of ‘Inactive’ and ‘Irregular’ Publishers. So, we decided as a Body of Elders to implement a plan that not only cured the problem, but made us the Shinning Star in the Circuit ... and the CO was using our Congregation as a blueprint to help other weak congregations. Here is what we did:

    Compiled a List and the Database: I placed all Pioneers, Pubs, Irregular, and Inactive JWs on a database. We then instituted a program to call on all Inactive and Irregular Pubs first, and invite them into Field Service. This produced some results.

    Phone calls for time: After compiling time each month, I called all those who did not report to try and wedge at least an hour or more from them by phone ... made notes on time slips for them. This helped keep reporting up and reduced irregularity and inactivity.

    Notify each BS Conductor: From the database I printed a sorted report for each BS Conductor for his Group. He could then see how his group performed, make calls on ‘weaker ones’ to keep them invited out in Service.

    Invite Help from a nearby Congregation: We played the “Pride” card, and invited a nearby congregation to join us to work our extensive territory. We announced this at each Service meeting for two or three weeks in advance that on Saturday and Sunday of a specified weekend, So-and-So Congregation would join us to help do what we have not been able to do, get ALL of our territory covered.

    The nearby Congregation decided to make a big showing ostensibly to prove their earnest desire to help (but subtly to shame us) and many weaker Pubs in our Congregation showed up so as to ostensibly show they were indeed ‘encouraged’ (but to prove we had some class left). This went on for two weekends a month for 3 months and one weekend a month for three subsequent months.

    Aux. Pioneer Drives: We used each and every Service Meeting to pump up excitement for the Aux. Pio work, with all the Elders signing up. We would be sure to read off every name signed up, and invited more to join ... and we scheduled end-of-the-month parties for all who signed up and made their time, or close to it. This created an environment where socializing was opened up to more and more who were not always feeling part of the program.

    Regular Pioneers: Our drive included constant invitations to transition from Aux. Pio to Reg. Pio. This actually began to work, and we eventually went from 4 Reg. Pioneers to over 20 Reg. Pioneers, mostly women whose husbands worked. This made it easier for those wanting to Aux. Pioneer to do so because they would have some company out in Service every day of the week.

    Dumping out the sludge: This sounds bad, and it is because Christianity should focus on concern for ‘people’ ... but as a Sales Organization, it was ideal. We took those Pub Cards of those who would never moved from ‘inactive’ or ‘irregular’ and tossed them into a “DEAD” file. Any cards older than 5 years, we destroyed. All others of the “Dead” file were kept from the CO when we gave him records during his visit. This way he only saw a few who moved from ‘inactive’ or ‘irregular’ to better performance.

    More Socialization: Aside from the ‘end-of-the-month’ parties, we also had quarterly and annual parties for Reg. Pioneers and Aux. Pioneers who Pioneered during that quarter. This involved having beer, chips, cheese, soft drinks, a house with a Big Screen to watch a ball game, and other exciting stuff ... or we went to the beach for a party with hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the trimmmings.

    Final Results: The CO loved it because he saw us move from 4 Reg. Pioneers, a Reg. Pub average of 7 hours/month to over 20 Reg. Pioneers with a Reg. Pub average of 12 hours/month. He saw our loads of ‘inactive’ and ‘irregulars’ move to a mere 4 or 5 individuals. He saw a big increase in Elders and MSs too, as well as better meeting attendance.

    How did the Pubs feel about this? Obviously, many felt good because they responded and the Congregation grew out of being the “Armpit of the Circuit” to being the “Shinning Star” of the Circuit ... The CO used our plan as a ‘blueprint’ to help other weaker congregations in the Circuit. BUT ... some Pubs and Elders did not like my level of detail of a Database on the PC, as this made them feel more like a Sales Organization ... which is what they are, as this tended to cheapen their Service. But these were greatly outnumbered by the clones and robots who enjoyed the change to a lock-step march of JWs and Elders side-by-side in the Field Service. We pleased Big Momma in Brooklyn, but deep down we knew we also cheapened ourselves before God.

    Last but not Least: I kind of trembled posting this because I have little doubt that some beady-eyed little nerd at Bethel will monitor our board, and see how a former JW Elder detailed how his former congregation turned around the from being a weak group to a star ... for such a Bethel nerd might share this in some fashion with the big bosses, and who knows ... I would just hate to think that something I said as an x-JW would continue to help JWs be more active.

    But, with the Internet, and more and more JWs waking up and leaving, hopefully it is too late for the organization to make any real comeback.

  • BeautifulGarbage

    So, where exactly does this Corporation show up on the Fortune 500?


  • NameWithheld

    Forcing the secretary to call every 'weak' one to get time gets really old for the poor secretary. I know cause I was one of those he had to call for the last 2 or so years of my JW-hood. What a burden to have to keep that list and make those calls every month. Oh well, at least he's 'busy in Jehovah's work' eh?

    I wonder if it pricks the conscience of the elders who call people like me who are/were obviously making up time and placements just to keep the report 'looking good' for the CO/Bethel? I wonder if it begins to sink in that they are in fact boosting #'s for a pyramid scheme? Or do they not even think about it since it's 'their job'?

  • RunningMan

    You know, I have wondered if the time collecters really know that people just make up numbers when they are called. You would think that they have enough intelligence to figure it out. Yet, they sound so gratified when you pause to pretend that you are thinking and adding up your time, then respond with whatever number comes to mind. I really don't believe that they care whether the time is real or not.

  • sunscapes



    Yes, this is Brother Secretary.

    Oh, Hi Brother! Nice day, eh?

    Yes, it certainly was. Anyways, I was just calling because I didn't get your field service report last month, and I have to compile the reports by tomorrow. Do you have anything to report.

    Uh, let's see..........BIG PAUSE for effect.......uhhhhh.....1 hour, no return visits, or mags, books, or Bible studies.

    OK, thank you, Brother X, hope to see you this weekend!

  • Amazing

    Hi Sunscapes: Yes, it was somewhat like that ... and sometimes with a twist like this:

    Sec: "Hi, Brother Irregular, I was calling to see if you have any time to report this month."

    Bro. Irreg: "Uh, well, let's see, uh, I don't think I made it out this month."

    Sec: "Ah, I see. Well, that happens. Ha ha, even to the best of us." "Did you conduct any family study during the month.?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Uh, we started to prepare for the Watchtower, I think. Just a Minute." - "Honey, did we have a family Watchtower staudy this month?" - "No dear. Remember, we started last Saturday, but you went fishing, and I went to the mall." "Thganks Hon." - "Uh, Bro. Sec. I think we missed our family study too."

    Sec: "Ah, well, um ... did you talk to anyone where you work about the Truth?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Uh, well let me think ... um, the Boss had a birthday party for one of the guys, and invited me ... and I said no cause I'm a JW ... and a couple of the Clerks tried to get me to come, and I explained to them why I couldn't. How's that?"

    Sec: "Sounds good, how much time do you think you spent witnessing?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Oh, maybe 20 or 25 minutes altogether ... between the Boss and the two Clerks."

    Sec: "Okay, let's round that to 30 minutes. Now, how about any calls or letters you might have had with non-witness relatives or friends?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Um, uh, mmmm ... well, I had to call my Anut Jane, you know the one who lives in Texas ... to talk about whether we might be there during Christmas. We of course had to exaplin again our position on gifts, and the like. - Not sure how much time we talked about the truth."

    Sec: "How long was the call?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Well, my wife, Sara, she talked first for a good hour, and then I spent about 30 minutes with Aunt Jane."

    Sec: "Fantastic!!! You got an hour all together, and your wife got an hour that she forgot to report. I'll just count it all, and we will try to do better next month, okay?"

    Bro. Irreg: "Okay, that's great. I didn't think about the various ways we could count time. Always learn something new Bro. Secretary."

    Sec: "How about you and I go out this Saturday for a couple of hours, and see if we can make some improvement?"

    Bro. Irreg: "I like that, but I have not been to the doors in a while and am pretty rusty, and that makes my uncomfortable."

    Sec: "I'll do the talking at the doors, and you can just be there to get a refresher ... and don't feel obligated to talk unless you feel comfortable. Sound okay?

    Bro. irreg: "You've got a deal, see you Sat. at 9:30 AM at the Hall."

    Sec: "How about I pick you up at 8:30 AM, and we can run through McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin and coffee and some talk ... then have luch after Service ... my treat."

    Bro. Irreg: "Hey that's great ... looking forward to it."

    Yes, twist, wiggle, stretch, strain, and bribe to get'em out and count'n time!!!

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