Do elders feel trapped once appointed?
When you become an elder, it's for life. That's scary, because who wants all that responsibility?
Do you think that brothers with lots of responsibilities envy those that don't have any?
I guess that certain wives would rather have their husbands home instead of seeing them go to endless meetings.
Who is better off in the congregation, those with lots of responsibilities or those with none?
Those with none.
Those with none (but then who am I to say?)
I've been in both situations. I went from none to lots (elder) and back to none.
I'll say this - when I was attending meetings, having no responsibilties was very boring, because I had nothing to do but sit there. Having responsibilities meant getting up off my duff once in a while and at least going up to the platform, going to conduct the second school, or heading into the library to
conferbat the breeze with other elders.
But, being an elder was very demanding. There were the seemingly endless meetings, plus stuff going on that required attention on non-meeting nights. It was endless, stressful, and unfulfilling.
So for me, no responsibilties wins. And yes, I felt trapped. I set a target date of ten years from the time of my appointment to resign. That's how bad it got.
Being a woman, I was only glad I never ever could gain "responsibilities" but I know from a few others who changed congragation b'cos they did'nt get the opportunity to get this "privilege".
It demands on the question how important you feel when you are appointed I think. When there is nothing else in life to be important in.....
and Rocketman, obvious you had other interests as well - good to be out is'nt ?
Having none is better. It is easier to miss a meeting when you have no responsibilities. I had few responsibilities, I did the mikes and occasionally gave a five minute talk. So I couldn't miss Thursday's nights without calling that I wouldn't come (quilt starts playing a role). I was glad they took those privileges away when my hours in service dropped. With responsibilities often comes 'being an example' to the cong, meaning endless hours spent in fieldservice, preparing for meetings and other stuff that keeps you occupied. Therefore having none saves time and reduces the grip the borg has on you. They are called privileges, but function as chains.
county_women: It demands on the question how important you feel when you are appointed I think. When there is nothing else in life to be important in.....
Good point! Funny that, I have experienced this many times: when people have little else in their lives (for example making the religion the sole axis of their life) they tend to fight over these relatively insignificant positions like their life depended upon it. It is their only hope to be somebody, to earn a certain respect. I did not only encounter this in the borg btw, but also on a swimming club I went to. A good message not to be obsessed with just one thing in your life; widen out, extend your horizon!Greven
The first time my husband really saw how the elder body functioned (the politics, backbiting, arguments), he realized that he would not have accepted the appointment to be an elder. He asked a long-time elder why he didn't tell him what really happened and he said, "then no one would want to be an elder. Once you accept, you can't quit."
Of course you can quit, but not without causing a lot of trouble for yourself and your family.
I saw a lot of good men get burned out slaving for the J-dud Masters. I too, had a lot of work to do. They give the more able bodied Brothers the harder, more demanding jobs. The rule being, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Many meetings I double-dipped. And I was the back-up book study conductor, watchtower reader, and had a public talk outline in my bag if need be. When my wife ran amuck, I asked to step down, they told me not to. I turned in a letter of resignation, they would not sent it off. I had to screw some worldly lady and tell them to get them to let me go. I didn't think of just walking away. Too brain dead still. And, after that, I could go to the meetings and not get harrassed into doing things because I was on reproof. It was blissful. For a while. I started to reflect on all the BS they are spewing, and slowly woke up! What a mess! Maverick