Mind Numbing Meetings

by minimus 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • WillYouDFme

    I just waited till I had a part or did the school.

    I worked very hard to not be in the normal mold and really teach, inspire, and entertain by being compelling.

    All things I greatly regret now.

  • john.prestor

    zeb, you just laid it down, I love it. You're exactly right: That's the silent perks of being on the Governing Body, or being any kind of Bethel 'heavy' as they say. I love when they deny they get anything out of this... of course they do, we all know it, they can't even deceive Witnesses much anymore that's why the money's drying up.

  • WillYouDFme

    I dont think money in any way is drying up. Not sure where that idea is coming from.
    They get more per US congregation today than EVER, and they are liquidating halls all the time for big lump sums.

    They are richer than EVER.

  • nowwhat?

    3 meetings a week

    Field service

    Study for meetings

    Personal study

    Family study

    Hall cleaning

    They call that token service!

    "Can you do more?!"

  • Diogenesister


    Ever since I was about 9 I didnt get this whole "study"lark. Its just repetition and more repetition. Whats to study??You can figure out the "answers"(read: regurgitate what youve just read) on the hoof. Preparation not necessary.

  • em1913

    I hated the Thursday meetings with a passion. I worked till 6pm on those nights, and had just enough time to grab something at McDonalds and eat it in the car on the way to the meeting, only to get the side-eye from the elders because I didn't look "put together" enough to suit them.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    As a kid, I remember being overwhelmed. I came from the era of 5 meetings a week,

    1.Tuesday night book study, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm + 1/2 hour of social time on the back end, at least. My family also had the book study in our home, so we had to be ready by 6:30.

    2.Thursday night school and service meeting, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm. Add 1/2 hour on the front end for socializing and business (my father was a MS, with "privileges") and a half hour on the back end, so technically it was a 3 hour meeting from 7-10. We also had a 20 minute drive to get to the hall, so I remember there being times, as a child, with an 8:00 pm bed time, not getting to bed til 11:00 pm.

    3. Sunday public talk and watchtower study, 10:00 am-12;00 pm, except alternate years where we would switch with the other congregation in the hall and meet from 1:00pm-3:00 pm (I hated afternoon Sunday meetings. Ruined my whole day) add 1/2 hour to both ends for socializing and business, and you've got another 3 hour meeting. Plus, on those semi regular occasions where we got to go in Sunday, after meeting field service... add 3 more hours.

    4. Saturday field service, at least 2 times a month. Meeting at 8:30 am, out til 12:00 pm.

    5. Monday evening preparing for book study, if done with family, 1 hour.

    6. Wednesday evening preparing for Thursday school and service meeting, 1 hour or so, unless I had a talk, then it was a few hours of prep and practice.

    7. Saturday (again), prep for Sunday watchtower study, 1 hr.

    Add to this school homework, and chores every night of the week. No wonder they didn't want me participating in extra curricular activities. It would've killed me and my parents. There was absolutely no time. Not to mention after school sports and other programs are fun! And would easily distract and win over any sane child, and doting parents...

    Friday evening was the only night we had off and quite often still required to be in early so we could be up early for field service the following morning. We didn't ever get to sleep in much either, which sucks as a teenager.

    Now, I realize my childhood could've been much worse. I could've been abused or born into poverty, starvation, slavery, etc. I could've been raised on a ranch where I had to be up at 5 am every day working hard 7 days a week. I had a good childhood and great parents who loved me. But we belonged to a religion that expected a tremendous amount of our time, and it seemed like no matter how much I did, it was never enough. There was always more.

    I was DF'd as a young adult, only to return some 12 years later. I attended every meeting, preparing for each in advance. After reinstatement, I toed the line for a while, though I never went in service, nor commented at meetings (that "privileged" was withheld at my reinstatement) anyway, soon I became inactive, as life demanded more from me and i became busy with work and i had a life of friends, fun and enjoyment outside of the organization. Occasionally I would run into someone who would encourage me to come back. They would say, "just come to the Sunday meeting. Jehovah understands if that's all you can do." I would feel guilty and go back ...but that was never enough. Every time I would get love bombed, but it was never enough. Always I was expected to progress, or the love and encouragement would tun into admonishment and judgment. Those who were quick to invite me over for "wholesome association", made it clear that it was conditional on my progressing, as if i did not, the friendly invites stopped coming. And i knew it would never be enough. So I would end up becoming regular again, attending all the meetings, studying before hand, even commenting, to the delight of everyone. But soon, that wasnt enough. I was counciled, there was more I could be doing. I contemplated it. I started to psych myself up for more, but the thought 'it'll never be enough' kept resounding in my head. I harkened back to my childhood, remembering all the expectations and responsibilities I shouldered, and it was never enough. And then I looked at my life as an adult, husband and father, and knew, no matter how much i gave, how much my family gave, it would never be enough. It is a bottomless pit of expectation.

    Never again. Not any more. I've had enough.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    Diogenesister, I couldnt agree more. It was a time waster. A brain washing technique. I quickly learned how to read the question first, skim the paragraph for the answer, underline, and move on. I always felt guilty for doing that, but looking back, it was necessary. As a kid I had other, more important things to do, like play!

  • Gayle

    The list of things we 'could have done' that would have been more stimulating and valuable!

    Very sad, but even just watching tv all those hours would have been more stimulating and realistic. All the WT hours spent were 100% pointless.

  • ShirleyW
    Saturday field service, at least 2 times a month. Meeting at 8:30 am, out til 12:00 pm

    Incognigo - You were lucky, just TWO times a month? I remember almost every Saturday and Sunday being in FS when I was growing up!

    We used to have our mtg on a Friday night for the longest time,even my mother said after it got switched over to Wednesday that she didn't know how she did it on a Friday when all you really want to do is relax since the work week is over.

    We also used to have our Sunday mtg at 2pm for the longest time too. Go out in FS come home and then go back out to the mtg and wouldn't get home until around 4:30, you couldn't even pay to take a job now with those broken up hours on a Sunday.

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