I am still one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I still attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall though I am quite disgruntled over many of the Society's teachings and the practices that go on in the congregation. I have read everything about JW's both pro and con, (I have one of the largest collections of material related to JW's in Europe) and I have contributed scholarly articles to the Society on many occasions. I could talk about many things but I'll just talk about what I observed last night. Does anyone else share these observations.
1. I arrive at the Kingdom Hall and the first thing I observe is that all the elders are chatting in little groups of two or three and appear completely engrossed in routine paperwork and letter reading. This carried on from then on to the start of the meeting. It continued after the meeting. I could also see elderly ones and young ones sitting alone with no-one speaking to them. While the 'shepherds' were otherwise engaged these souls including depressed ones had no encouragement. I'm sure Jesus would have been available for these ones.
2. I observed large number of cliques amongst the brothers. JW's are encouraged to widen out but it doesn't happen very much in my congregation. The number of brothers passing each other by in the Hall without a word of greeting was unbelievable.
3. Gossiping is quite a common thing in our congregation as is back-biting amongst the brothers. No real unity!! I observed brothers complaining about their assignments that evening and because they had a talk to do that night. What a joyful occasion this was turning out to be.
4. Young brothers including some young ministerial servants engaging in quite un-spiritual talk in the midst of the congregation. One could tell they weren't really interested in the meeting or even in spiritual things. Yet these ones especially the ministerial's are given talks the same night in the Service Meeting! Interestingly these ones are related to elders and are in the right clique so to speak! What hypocrisy!
5. The meeting itself didn't seem to have any life in it. The real meaning and the spirit of the scriptures didn't seem to reach my heart. The Scriptures are hardly ever expounded in detail and the reading of them seems like a perfunctory sacrifice. The Service Meeting is the most boring meeting! Much of the repetitive material on Field Service never seems to be applied in most cases because I think everyone else is bored with the format as presented in Our Kingdom Ministry.
Anyone else feeling the same?