For Those of You Who Still Serve... How Do You Do It?

by Kingdom Evader 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • OneEyedJoe

    I was never an MS/Elder, but I went through some of the same issues. Out in service I'd pretend to ring the bell like you in some cases - tried to work by myself as much as possible. Anytime someone came to the door (if I'm working with someone and had to knock) I would muck up the presentation to the point that they'd just say they're not interested.

    For talks, I'd make a game of working in subversive material that fit the outline. I had a couple I was particularly proud of. One where I worked in a comment about how some "other" religious organizations had ties to the UN - the scarlet colored wild beast of revelation - and that we would certainly not want to be associated with any such organization. In another I made a comment about Jesus being the savior and that we should not allow any man to get between us and our relationship to Jesus, like catholics do with the pope. I'm sure I didn't make anyone think, but it was kinda fun to condemn everyone in the room all while they nod along.

    Good luck with the women in your life. I hope you're able to reach them and escape with your sanity in tact!

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath
    what a nightmare. when i was a pio / servant --50 years ago----i hated door knocking--and used to fake it---but i believed the crap back then. how on earth anyone can be an elder--and door knock---once they have woken up just beats me.
  • ToesUp

    Welcome Kingdom Evader!

    Never been a servant (thank God).

    I don't know how you do it! I couldn't! I have wondered many times, how many Brothers serving are just going through the motions.

    We left (as a family) about 3 years ago but had these nagging doubts for soooo long. We are both born ins. It was hard for us to "fake it" but it must be excruciating to those still serving.

    Hang in there. Move slow. Keep us posted.

    You will find a lot of great kind and loving people here that are or have been through similar situations.

  • Splash

    If you're competent at giving talks then ignore the outline details and teach true bible principles instead.

    The congregation notices when you're not the regular elder robot and they warm to you and trust you more.

    You can use your position to the advantage of the congregation, until it starts to cause you too much mental stress, then you need to wind it all back, cease to qualify and begin to fade.

  • bildad

    Great points by ElderlNewton!

    Talks provided an excellent opportunity to teach directly from the Bible (if you still believe the Bible.) You might be questioned about what you said by hardliners but if you stick to the Bible, what can they really say?

    I have received counsel to stick more to the outline by some bodies of elders. However, you also hear comments of appreciation that seem to indicate that there are a number in the audience who are yearning for a true Bible message, unfiltered by WT teachings.

    There is a "ministry" among some JW's. There are many who are silent but are not buying "overlapping" explanations and find it refreshing to hear a message without the WT filter.

    Because of circumstances many feel they cannot DA or be DF. So do what you can where you are with what you have.

  • wifibandit

    I'm not what you would call a "Believer". I do agree with much of Jesus' moral philosophy (Golden rule ect.). That is what I teach from the platform. Forgiveness, looking at yourself instead of judging others, love your neighbor. The beaten down people love kind words, something sorely lacking from the WT. I also try to give them the confidence that they are doing enough. The constant drum beat for more more more is tiring.

    My service consists of these steps:

    • being late for the meeting (so I don't get stuck conducting).

    • If we meet at a home, talk for 20-30. min (try to cause confusion as to who is going with whom)

    • Muck up the territories if you are the territory servant. Same for mags/lit.

    • Talk for a few more min. outside saying "see you guys for lunch?"

    • Get in the car. Forget something in the house, go get it.

    • Go to the farthest corner of your territory, for your R.V. that is never there. Better yet, OUTSIDE of your territory. "They just moved, I need to find someone to take over the study/visit."

    • Break. Coffee, Bathroom, Medical... Anything. (Go through the drive through, so nobody is tempted to "preach" at Starbucks)

    • Once you have your stuff, PULL OVER. Park while you "fix your coffee" or eat your McMuffen. Gotta drive safe!

    • Ask if anyone has a call they'd like to do. Pick the Farthest one, so you can "work your way back".

    • By this time, somebody will need to get dropped off at their car. Lunch anyone?

    Add in never making young ones get out of the car (or if we are on foot, talk at the door) and you can see why they all want to go in service with wifibandit. My car has wifi! The snacks are on me! Lets talk about science and music! Sure you can mess with the radio/spotify!

  • stuckinarut2


    I understand your situation completely! Been there...done that!

    There is only so long you can continue to pretend though. Sadly, the Cognitive Disonance will get so strong...and that can threaten to upset your mindset and conscience.

    Yes kind to the flock....but such kindness will be translated as being "permissive" by many elders who have lost sight of the REAL meaning of Christianity.

    I struggled sitting on the fence for some time (as ones on the board will attest) . Believe me, it is far easier to just stop activity while still keeping your kind qualities and personality in tact.

  • Introvert 2
    Introvert 2
    Hahaha Wifibandit !! Why are you still in man ? I could never pull that off ( I'm patient with machinery, people not so much.. )
  • Stumpy

    Hi KingdomEvader - Welcome, welcome, welcome!

    I feel for you mate. I was in your exact shoes a few months ago. It's a tuff slog being awake and being an elder. I could only do it for a little while before stopping completely, once I knew it wasn't the truth my conscience wouldn't allow me to keep peddling that crap.

    It takes a lot of guts to make a first post here so I can see you have it in you to get through this... it will be rough going for a while though unfortunately. We're all here to help you through it though. The people on this board are amazing and full of compassion and empathy as they have all been where you are. They have helped me and Mrs Stumpy immensely as we have made our way out.

    How do you spend your time in field service? I've just been walking up to peoples doors, PRETEND TO RING THE DOOR BELL, (never knock) and then leave. I have avoided talking to so many people that way!

    That's what I did too. When my wife woke, we would do it together we would make up the number of mags we "placed" and have fun telling the crazy zealous ones how awesome a morning we had. One morning one of them got so upset that she hadn't talked to anyone yet she asked if she could take what was supposed to be my next house... we swapped places and she found no-one and I lied that the house she was supposed to do turned into a potential bible study! She was so upset and jealous Man did we laugh about that. That's the only way I found to cope, make a game out of it and have some fun... otherwise you will go crazy.

    We haven't been in field service for over 2 months now, believe me you're going to love getting your Saturday mornings back mate!

    Shepherding calls are a nightmare... the ones I go on, I'll just talk about love and how to not be a terrible person. I hate going with elders that just want to drive in the "go to meetings, go in field service, do more" mantra.

    The last few I did I told the elder I was with we are just going to ask them how they got the truth and then just listen, nothing more. Both parties loved it and I got out of the pressure of having to say something I didn't believe in anymore.

    What about service meeting parts and public talks? How do you do those things with out raising suspicion or losing your sanity? If I were to listen to one of your public talks... would I know you were an apostate? Do you "lie" and say "support the GB" to avoid suspicion? Or do you make the talk as general and mainstream as possible and eliminate most of the cult speak?

    Like mentioned before, just get rid of the ones your conscience won't let you do and stick to the generic ones. I actually had a lot of fun with my last public talk. I made it very practical and only used scriptures that contained good principles to live life by, whether you believe in a god or not. It went over really well. My last assembly part I had to give was more difficult as the outline had full on cult indoctrinating GB lingo in it. I just watered it down and eliminated the cult stuff like you mentioned and no one was the wiser. As someone mentioned above, the watchtower study is the hardest. If you are doing that I suggest getting out of that assignment asap... it will be torture otherwise.

    Keep reading and posting mate.

  • OneFingerSalute

    "...if you stick to the Bible, what can they really say?"

    If it's good for a gibbering body member to say that, surely I can say it too!

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