What does it take to become an elder?

by sandy 16 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • sandy

    a question for some of you x-elders or current elders what is the process to become an elder?

    Are there questions like when you get baptized? Has anybody here ever turned down an offer to be an elder? If so why?

    What happens when they delete you as an elder? If it was not for a DF'ng matter?

  • Maverick

    When I moved from out west, of my own accord I was 'deleted as an Elder. When I came to Florida I was appointed an MS after 6 months. Twice after that during the next ten years the Brothers came up to me before a meeting and told me I had been approved as an Elder. I turned them down. They got very angry. I am an Idealist. I hated knowing all the inside crap on everyone. I wanted to think good things about the friends. I still gave Public Talks, even away talks, Bible Highlights, Instruction Talks, some meetings two or three parts, and always had several duties at the Hall and at Assemblies but I wasn't burdened by all the extra work they pour on willing Elders. When I would hear the announcement of a brief Elders Meeting after the meeting I was relieved I would not have to go. These guys were not nice behind closed doors, I hated all of the special meetings. These guys just seemed to love all the secret session shit. Maverick

  • BluesBrother

    Just found this thread a couple of days late. - the system is that the body meets and decides . They try to pretend that it is the action of the H Spirit , but only the gullible believe that. The human elements of friendship and family ties have far more to do with it.

    They check that you will accept it , and ask if you have any secret vices that would bar you from serving, then recommend you, and the Society usually rubber stamp the appointment. thus starts a lifetime of elders meetings, hobnobbing with the C/O and generally working your socks off with items,assembly admin, clerical duties and practising an air of pomposity.

    When I was first appointed in the 70's, I was sat at the meeting one Thursday (Searching under my seat my songbook at the vital moment) and I heard the speaker announce that I had been appointed an elder!. I swear that it was the biggest shock of my life. In those days no one asked you first. I had never ever considered myself elder material and that particular body was made up of very experienced men of great presence and ability and I felt totally out of my depth. I wish I had had the presence of mind to refuse it , but I was stilll in my 20's and of course you never turned down an assignment, since at that time I believed that it must come from God

    Gradually I found my feet and got on with it but I was never totally happy and over the years I suffered a lot of unnecessary grief due to being an elder. I tried to resign on a couple of occasions but was persuaded to stay. Eventually , in 1997 having by then lost the faith I formally resigned , or was I removed ? that is a moot point.

  • Azalo

    i heard they use to vote, is that true? and if so did the elections get heated, mudslinging, etc?

  • confuzcious

    This was a tremendously bitter point for me.

    I Pioneered for 9 years straight. My wife did too.

    The guy I studied with became an elder before me.

    It's a game. Lets see who can suck up the most.

  • minimus

    The body of elders sit down and pray over the matter. After earnest prayer, the elders, with holy spirit upon them will make a decision that the brother Scripturally qualifies. Then they hold hands in a big circle and chant whatever the Service Committee says to chant (each congregation is different), then they take out their songbooks and each elder sings a favorite tune. Then they pray again that the Governing Body will accept their holy spirited recommendation. And then the Governing Body prays over the letter that the Circuit Overseer sends them. They chant, sing show tunes and pray again. Somehow or other, the Service Department rubber stamps the whole thing. If the holy spirited elders make a mistake on their recommendation, then they are told to pray again and repeat the same steps 6 months later.

  • ChakkaConned

    I would say the requirements are a pair of puckered lips and a brown nose.

  • caligirl

    In the congregation that I grew up in there was a ministerial servant who refused appointment multiple times.He had a beard and was told that he had to shave it off to become an elder. He said no thanks to the "priviledge."

  • rocketman

    I was appointed an elder after three years as an MS. Worked my butt off; never turned down an assignment, avergaed 10-15 hrs each month in service while holding down a full time and part time job. Needless to say, I was burned out almost from the start.

    I was removed 9 yrs later, and by that time i had thought of resigning on several occasions. I was never happy, and felt my life was nearly out of control with meetings, study, shepherding, judicial cases, etc, etc, etc.

  • Maverick

    Hey Minimus, what Hall did you go to? I don't remember the singing and chanting stuff. Those meetings always had a hard edge to them, like a corporate meeting when someone is going to get his butt chewed and you hoped it was not you. Even the jokes were forced. If the Brother had a 'higher' rank, you laughed. I always kepted my month shut. I had a young wife I want to get 'back' to. Some...MOST of these guys had no sex life or something! I always begged off from being on any judical commitees. I didn't want to know that stuff! Maverick

  • HoChiMin


    Big puckered lips and a brown nose, I'm sorry to say are quite accurate.


    You slime, how dear you give out the chanting secret. You also forgot the WT legal dept. has the letter hover around the room for several days to see if the spirit is strong enough.


  • BluesBrother
    Those meetings always had a hard edge to them

    Maverick, You are right there mate!

    I have never been able to convey to my wife the deep chasm of difference that exists between the life of the rank & file and that of the elders. It is a whole different ball game.

    Macho, chauvanistic, political infighting, face saveing, are words that come to mind. The peer pressure to conform to the group psycology are enormous.

  • gumby

    Chocolatecones, I

    would say the requirements are a pair of puckered lips and a brown nose.

    Thats pretty much it. Be regular at meetings, regular in service for starters. Make sure your quotas are up to par.....then...... ........be one of the last to leave the meetings and one of the first to get there. Talk to the publishers where the elders see you have an intrest in others and that they like you. Next.....when the CO comes around.....work with him in service and put your name on the list to feed him. Get in tight with the rest of the elders......especially the PO. It will also be helpful if you start making really deep and meaningfull comments that surprise everyone. If you do all these things........there should be no problem...........unless they don't like you. Gumby

  • minimus

    Today, I was approached by an elder as to whether I ever turned in my ELDER book, because the CO might want to have it when he comes next month. I told him that I haven't seen the book in over a year and had no idea where it was.

  • gumby
    I told him that I haven't seen the book in over a year and had no idea where it was.

    Were you lying Minimus?

  • minimus

    Nope. I have it buried in my car's trunk, I think. But I haven't read it since I quit being an elder. If they harrass me for that stupid book, I'll tell them I just can't find it( and if I do locate it, I will store it in a better place).

  • nowisee

    i remember a conversation i had with another female pioneer. we were bemoaning the fact that women could not serve in oversight capacities in the cong., we could only go as far as our husbands in traveling up the ranks.

    well, in listening to blues bro and maverick, i really think we were spared. if the average jw rails against all the responsibilities and burdens placed on them, it must be multiplied many many times for the elders. i would think it would be very difficult to maintain your equilibrium in those circumstances.

    and how many elders do not live up to the requirements?

    it must be a relief for the exes to be away from all that.

Share with others