This is an issue that really bothers me. The elders are supposed to be looking after the well being of the congregation. They are supposed to be helping those in need. But are the really qualified?
Of all the elders in my local congregation, there are two congregations meeting at different times at the same hall one spanish one english, only 2 of them have had any college at all. One of those who went to college did so to avoid the draft, the other only went for a year or so and was into parties and drugs.
The others, in the english, only have high school educations, and some in the spanish don't even have that.
The problem is that they are trying to take care of ALL the problems from alcohol abuse to marriage problems. They are not qualified to do this! It seems that almost every problem can be solved by "making more meetings", and "going out in the field service more". IF it were only that easy!
Many brothers and sisters need proffessional help, yet they aren't getting it. Those who do seek out therapists are warned not to talk about "congregation problems". Now what kind of advice is that? Most of the problems ARE in the congregation, so how do you get help if you can't talk about what is bothering you?
In my area there is a BIG problem with alcohol, yet nothing is being done about it. WHY? Well it may have something to do with the fact that the elders themselves have a problem in this area. How can they help someone when the have the same problems? Same with marriage problems. The elders have just as many problems in this area as the rest of the congregation, so how can they help?
Sheperding calls are almost non-exsistent around here. In my first 5 years as a JW I had two sheperding calls. Since I have become inactive, I have had 1 visit from the P.O. who made excusses as to why the congregation was so messed up. One from the C.O. and one elder, they also were making excussees for the problems going on in the congregation. And several calls trying to get me to say I no longer believed the GB was the FDS.
In all these visits and calls the only things I get asked are, "do you still read the magazines?"
Never have I been asked if I still read the bible.
And of course they used to ask if I still believed the society was God's chosen organization.
It seems to me that the elders are only qualified to be society men. They aren't really trying to help those in need. They are only concerned about the society, and how you think regarding the societies views.
My question is does this system of once your and elder you are there for life, and once you make P.O. you are P.O. for life really benifit the congregations? Wouldn't it be better if the elders were change once in awhile? And wouldn't it be better if the same guy wasn't P.O. all the time?