by Deli King 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Deli King
    Deli King

    Having served as an elder before resigning I can understand why 'Christendom's' ministers are full time.

    You have to find the balance between, family, work, preparing for meetings (including non public meetings), rest, self study, field service, and I'm sure I left some items out. This is extremely difficult if you truly want to do a good job.

    After thinking about it I came up with the idea that the 'perfect' elder would be a widowed, retired and strong financially, children grown up and taking care of themselves, and dedicated.

    I tried to do my best, but it is impossible. Even if you give people a lot of your time (and neglect your family during the process) they may still be unhappy with your service.

    A lot of people react quite unfriendly to elders. At the same time the elders are measured not according to what they do in the cong. but according to the time they report. And if you do not meet the average level of hours you are out.

    And then there are the widows and orphans, physically and virtually, need a lot of attention.

    An other factor is gossip, the people who gossip a lot often are not aware of the full story. Can make elders look quite foolish, can give you a number of examples if you are interested.

    Not trying to say that all elders are dedicated and loving, only trying to make a point that it is extremely easy to criticise when you are not aware of the reasons for certain decision, and perhaps it is not such a bad idea to have full time ministers.

  • spider

    I am sure it must be frustrating - you are right, it is easy to criticise and I know there were some good elders out there. But its impossible to do it all. Growing up my dad was an elder and he sacrificed a lot of time doing his elder duties rather than being with his family. They used to say that you should take care of your family first but I imagine it must have been difficult to live up to be being a good elder and also have the time left to spend time being a good parent.

  • larc

    Deli King, I don't know if you have seen it, but I think you would enjoy Amazing's elder series. I describes in detail, many of the JC meetings he was a part of.

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    See, that's one of my problems with WTS. Whoever you are, or whatever you do, it's NEVER enough. It's like a hunger that never dies. And it's not just elders, it's everybody. My wife used to come home (I work at night) with just enough time to make dinner, get the kids dressed and fly off to the meeting. But if one of them was ill, which happens with small children, they all had to stay home. Instead of recognising the effort, she was criticised for not doing enough. "You're doing good, just not good enough." No No No. I don't believe in a God that is that demanding. I don't believe he has a big chalkboard keeping statistics like life is some sort of ballgame, and he's charting us. And yet that is what the organisation has become. Stats. Butts in seats. Numbers are hollow and cold.

  • gumby

    Remember long ago when a man would read the bible with his family and that was good enough?

    He worked and came home to his family. Many poor marriages exist because of the time a man spends as an elder. Some have good ones...but it's tough....too tough!

    I suppose many other religious functions such as a group minister could burn his wife out too......but....the dubs take the lead in my book!

  • nancee park
    nancee park

    Actually, all who serve are servants; elders are just older servants. All should be encouraged to serve and hence all should become servants, although in the best sense of the word.

    The words or terms "servant" or "elder" are properly speaking descriptions of what you do already and in the case of "elder" a noting of age, not some special position or title granted by a human organization.

    Christ did not call for a special group of clergy. Paul said in Christ all are equal.

    Where a group of two or more have the need to do so, as with weddings, they can certify someone at least for the occasion as a performing servant.

    Just be the best friend you can be and that's being a great servant.

    There's also no need for filling out forms, keeping secret or open records on members, formally judging people's degree of sinning and the like.

    James pointed out that the only judging would be if some needed to have someone serve to judge some relatively trivial matter such as over a business disagreement so as to keep the peace.

    Formal judging is against the Bible.

    The Watchtower Society's groping for power or a high degree of control over member's personal business and lives is what is burning out many good persons.

    They, the WTS, is an apostate body, destroying the lives of I truly believe virtually the entire membership.

    Most servants/elders in the earliest days of Christianity lived an average live span of about 35 years total. If a man produced children at age 16 and raised them to age 16 then he was truly an elder at latest around age 32 and in such cases recognized as such about 3 years before dying, although hopefully a "servant" even from childhood, and some might even have called him an elder earlier on, depending on their respect for him.

    Today, by contrast, the WTS gives elders a judging-and-lording-it-over-of-others period of potentially decades, say 30-50 years. Too much power, too many years, too much abuse.

    Edited by - nancee park on 22 August 2002 23:43:23

  • minimus

    DELI KING, may i ask why you aren't an elder now?

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