Elders getting burnt up.
I don't feel one bit sorry for them. I was married to an elder for 21 year's and NON of the other elders wanted to do anything but hold title. My husband was dumped on all the time, given all the crazies in the hall.
Their wives were gossiping bitties who were spiteful and mean.
We never had a marriage because all the crazies demanded so much, I have been yelled at, screamed at, I have been demanded money from the crazies even through we were so poor ourselves, but the crazies felt my husband being an elder should help them with their rent, food, rides, raising their kid's that's a whole ather story. It was all my husband's fault that their kid's were not JW's.
No I don't feel one bit sorry for any of those elders. I truly hope karma takes them out.
I was born-in, was taught to "reach out". Appointed MS at 20, elder at 29. I burned out like a flaming meteor crashing to earth, in front of everyone. I had no time to do anything I wanted. Alcohol was how I dealt with my anxiety and pressure from the WT.
My drinking put me in the hospital for pancreatitis. Just before my hospital stay I had received a speaking assignment for the circuit assembly. From my hospital bed I passed on a message to the CO that I received the assignment and accepted it. How screwed up is that?
For me, stress only came from the WT Corporation. I could handle stress from any other aspect of my life.
At the beginning of my "career" as an "appointed man", I was excited to serve. Later as an elder I realized that the assignments just kept piling up on me with no relief. Soon I cynically felt that to do all that was asked meant quitting a paying job just to have the time. That was not an option, so something else had to give. My sanity is what gave way.
I would scream at my wife and kids to get ready for the meeting and get out the door. Once, I grabbed my then 6 year old by the upper arms and pushed him down onto his bed, shook him while screaming at him to quit screwing around and get dressed.
While I was on stage as TMS overseer, my little boy was sitting in the audience bleeding from where my thumb nails had scratched him on each side of his chest. After the TMS I realized what I had done, took him to the bathroom to help him. I started to shake and sob. That was the beginning of my awakening. I could no longer ignore my doubts or my mental condition.
That was 6 years ago. I am sober, love my wife and kids, and have found a measure of peace. I still have anxiety problems, especially when thinking of the pressure I was under, and still occasionally experience suicidal ideation.
i can never go back.
Its been a few years since I stepped down from being an elder and as a result I rarely visit other congregations, however knowing what I used to do and seeing my local elders, I have to say that 90% of the appointed brothers my generation and older have 'checked out' and are in full time pension mode. Most are on holiday somewhere or planning their next one. It was getting so bad in fact that I said to my full-in wife one night at the hall ... "You know darling, even with my bad attitude ... its funny that my meeting attendance is still a lot better than all of our elders". She just had to agree.
So, there's a rot. It can't be treated with Organizational bling, cinematic videos, flashy apps or up beat 'Walt Disney" music. And nothing going to stop the collapse of the classic congregational structure that we've known for a very long time. Because everything that is born ... dies. And if you look into the window of most congregations, you'll see that they are all, very old indeed.
Burnt out? Isn't that how cults work? A burnt out worker won't have the energy to question the corruption of the leaders. Keep 'em doing 'busy work' and that'll shut 'em up.
neverendingjourney - "I think it began as a gap-filling mechanism..."
...ending as a scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel mechanism. :smirk:
burnedout - "For me, stress only came from the WT Corporation. I could handle stress from any other aspect of my life."
That's 'cause stress from virtually any other aspect of life doesn't even come close to WT stress.
tor1500 - "...we must remember to not rejoice over someone else's come upp'ins...even IF WE THINK they deserve it... Because at the end of the day, it could be one of us..."
Nobody here is "rejoicing".
That being said, a little schadenfreude can be a healthy thing.
Recently an elder in our congregation requested to come off the operations committee for the Kingdom Hall. He was doing the accounts. COBE asked him "why?"
"Errr...ummm....stumble-stammer....it's time for someone else to do it....ummm...it's really kind of tedious....hurrrr...umm...(suddenly realizing that describing his job as 'tedious' won't have volunteers falling all over themselves to take it off his hands)....durrr....but it's really fun and rewarding too.....but someone else should do it...."
Due to restructuring of operating committee, he was taken off anyway.
He's getting old and I suspect senility is not far off. His filter for "candor" flickered off for a moment and the truth of the matter came through briefly. He hated his job because it was tedious.
It's also happening in the area I live.
I'm serving as pioneer and MS and it's stressful to serve in that positions being young. There are very few young brothers who want to volunteer and all the tasks are assigned to the small group of young 'spiritual' brothers.
It was the reason behind my awakening. I just can't do it. I'm doing the accounts, territories, assignments in the meetings, conducting meetings for field service and also pioneering.
I just told the elders i'm stepping down as pioneer and their response was: "But... you're the only young male pioneering in the congregation! How are you doing that to the congregation?". They're frustrated as they see there are no replacements for the old guard of strong spiritual men of past decades and it doesn't matter the physical, mental or spiritual wellbeing of brothers serving VOLUNTARILY!
Sometimes, I'm feeling as MS worst than in a secular job. The elders and COs treat you like an employee without taking into account you're doing it as a volunteer. There's nothing special in serving as a MS or elders, it's just like a job but whithout getting paid. You're sacrificing your free time and you get nothing, not even a 'thank you'.
In fact, although there are other MSs and elders in my congregation, they can't do some tasks like the accounts because they can't understand how to do it thanks to the WT anti-education policy! And they're the same who reprimanded me for studyng at university. What a nonsense!
The last time I saw my brother (elder) his ass was dragging,anxiety issues......