whatever happened to rotation? wt study to April two.

by waton 24 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • waton
    waton

    with all the emphasis on hierarchical succession in that wt, , what ever happened to mentioning of the refreshing, liberating "rotating of positions" period, the time of great increase?

  • ScenicViewer
    ScenicViewer

    I remember when elders rotated positions. I believe it started when the elder arrangement started in the early 1970s. Without looking it up, I seem to remember that it didn't last very long, only a few years, then it was abandoned probably before the 1970s ended.

    There never was a scriptural basis for it.

  • blondie
    blondie

    They used to rotate the GB committees too. They discovered that some brothers were not equally capable, that not keeping those brothers in key positions created havoc.

    However, rotation did not work effectively and it was done away with in the 1983 Organized to Accomplish You Ministry, page 41.

    jwfacts has a good history of that here:

    https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/elders.php

  • waton
    waton
    There never was a scriptural basis for it. SV:

    if I remeber right, the changing of the chairmanship between Peter and James in the first century GB*** discussion on the circumcision / blood question, that happened during prolonged interruptions prompted that.

    That was the then very convincing scriptural argument at the time, and allowed the manipulators to rotate a willing victim into the top job for the 1975 fiasco ; ha ha.

    In the context of today's watchtower it would have given a good lesson of getting all brothers exposure, experience to the different tasks, and relief from the stagnation that preceded that rotation too, when congregation servants were on the top for life.

    *** The only reference for "organisational" procedure inside a "body" I know of in the NT. bsw.

  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW
    There never was a scriptural basis for it. SV:

    I remember sitting in Yankee Stadium or that staidum in Jersey City when it was first announced, and of course every, newfangled light they come up with they always quote a scripture, I'm sure a few scriptures were read when they first introduced the rotation at the assembly.

    I remember my mother and a few others saying" oh, what a great arrangement, so that one brother can't get too haughty as to his being an elder for all his life" HA !! make me want to vomit just thing of that, and oh, by the way. . just what happened to that "loving arrangement"?

  • snowbird
    snowbird

    I remember the switch from WT study conductors.

    The original conductor did such an excellent job that Witnesses would come from a neighboring state for the study.

    Well, his replacement was so boring and inept that attendance dropped by one half.

    It was simply painful to sit through it.

    Sylvia

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    A comment on the subject of rotation of elders and "specialty servants" (those who conducted the WT meeting, Ministry School Servant):

    [Note: You can tell the era I came from (1950s/1960s) because the descriptive title of "Servant" was replaced by "Elder" and "Overseer" in the late 1960s. Those changes alone forever damaged the feeling of equality among brothers within Kingdom Halls. If someone is assigned to "serve" the congregation, his "service" is seen as non-threatening and a positive gift of time and effort to the other members of the congregation.]

    But if someone is seen as an "elder" or "overseer," then for the rank and file it becomes "boss/employee" --- "manager/subordinate" --- "owner/slave" relationship.

    I remember how uncomfortable my male relative JWs felt having their descriptive titles changed. My father actually went to various friends and told them that he would always consider himself a "servant" in the congregation. "I don't make a very good boss. I want to be able to say to a JW friend, 'have a nice day' or 'good luck in field service' without it being interpreted as an order."

    My then wife (1965-1970) - who continued to attend meetings after I stopped going - found it very hard to think of some of the brothers as "overseers." She also shared with me that their attitudes and personal approach to the non-assigned brothers and sisters were quite different.

    Even though "ministerial servant" was a new position in the congregation and had not yet been fully defined, it was clear to her that some of those chosen for the "pre-elder" position were already acting like "princes" or some kind of "JW royalty." She left the JWs just before the1975 fiasco finally blew up and I think she was just tired of the false pride being shown by some men in the congregation who had titles - something she never saw when we were dating and were first married in the mid-60s.

    It was the same with "Governing Body." Before that, we considered the President and Vice-President of the Watchtower Society as being special men with broader responsibilities. But unlike Russell and Rutherford before them (who were considered to be the "leaders" of the religion with hotlines to Jehovah's throne in heaven), Knorr and F. Franz and Hayden Covington, while admired, were not considered as being particularly "special" in a theocratic sense - at least not in the field. I know that those working in Bethel at the time had differing opinions about the "unique responsibilities" assigned to officers of the organization.

    While a majority of readers of this forum will most likely have come on the JW scene well after the early 1980s "massacres" at Bethel and throughout the organization - and are unlikely to have recognized the changes in the "power grid" of the Watchtower, I can assure everyone that with that change in authority, position titles, and implementation of the Governing Body arrangement, everything changed forever. Some JWs recognized the changes and a few rebelled. Others (like they were when attending meetings) were not paying attention or simply did not care - or sleeping with their eyes open - except during prayers when they actually caught some shut-eye.

    I saw the changes in my wife and among my family members when those new policies and naming arrangements were applied. That was also a reason for the huge exodus after the failure of 1975. A lot of JWs would have probably let the failed prophecy thing slide by, but the fact that "servants" were now overseers, mass purges were taking place throughout the organization, and every congregation saw more JWs leave or fade away.

    Now the "Governing Body" is trying to slip out of the nooses they have placed around their own necks. They are saying that they are nothing special, that they have no special "telephone line" to heaven, that they are capable of making mistakes, and that they carry to responsibility for what the Watchtower organization does.

    I remember my father and mother crying on the phone in 1966 when they learned that I had been disfellowshipped. They begged me to repent and "return to Jehovah." My father was so distraught that he could not speak more than a couple of sentences to me before turning over the phone to Mom. That was the beginning of the big move toward shunning. My parents hated the whole thing but reminded me that "the brothers in New York are directed by Jehovah" - leaving them no choice in the matter. My mother then told me that my father even gave up his position as an "overseer" in their congregation - because he could not in good conscience serve and enforce a policy that he disagreed with - but had to live under.

    JV

  • waton
    waton
    That was also a reason for the huge exodus after the failure of 1975. A lot of JWs would have probably let the failed prophecy thing slide by, but the fact that "servants" were now overseers, mass purges were taking place throughout the organization, and every congregation saw more JWs leave or fade away. JV2
    very insightful thoughts . look it up, the big exodus was not in autumn 1075, but when the change to slave drivers was instituted. A more profound stratifying of adherents than the clergy / laity model of BTG.

    The word " serve" now is a corruption of the meaning, it should read "dominates", "governs" instead. the word "overseer" and "coordinator" does not even imply any service, work at all, only governance, with all it's prestige, entitlements , imho.

  • waton
    waton
    They used to rotate the GB committees too. They discovered that some brothers were not equally capable, that not keeping those brothers in key positions created havoc.
    However, rotation did not work effectively and it was done away with in the 1983 Organized to Accomplish You Ministry, page 41. Blondie,

    Yes of course, in the natural process of competition, comfort, and delight in work, a good working arrangement would have been developed among the servants in the congregations prior to the change*** when possible, . but in an equal number of cases, latent talent was suppressed, discovered through rotation, and then later recognized by acclamation. and

    where does the idea come from that corporate efficience would be a model for a "New World Society"?.

    *** was it not only the fixed Congregation servant that was immune to removal before 1971?

  • LongHairGal
    LongHairGal

    JUAN VIEJO:

    Thanks for your honest view of what went on back in the day when they changed titles (Servant to Elder).

    Yes, I can imagine in the minds of certain people, it changed the relationship between them and the rank and file Witnesses. Instead of people pretty much on the same level, they thought of themselves as "boss" over the people in the congregation.

    Well, I never saw myself as an "employee", or any of those men my "boss". If this is how any elder viewed themselves, that's their problem.