By The Librarian
"We do not have a paid clergy in our organization. Instead, as was done when the Christian congregation got its start, qualified overseers are appointed “to shepherd the congregation of God.” (Acts 20:28) These elders are spiritually mature men who take the lead in the congregation and shepherd, “not under compulsion, but willingly before God; not for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)"
Each congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses has a body of unpaid elders, who are responsible for teaching the congregation. Elders maintain general responsibility for congregational governance, pastoral work, selecting speakers and conducting meetings, directing the public preaching work and creating "judicial committees" to investigate and decide disciplinary action for cases that are seen as breaching scriptural laws.
There are no secular educational requirements for Witness elders. Elders are considered "overseers" based on the biblical Greek term, ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos, typically translated "bishop").
"The word "overseer" is translated from the Greek word episkopos, which literally means "one who visits and inspects." It applies in Jehovah's organization to one who watches out for and takes care of the interests of God's flock. The apostle Paul says, at 1 Timothy 3 :1 (NW) :"If any man is reaching out for an office of overseer, he is desirous of a right kind of work." " - Qualified to be Ministers(1955)
Before 2014 prospective elders were recommended from among ministerial servants and former elders by the local elder body for appointment by the branch; Now the Circuit Overseer appoints and deletes elders.(
branch offices may also approve appointments to local Congregation Service Committees. As of September 2014, it will be the responsibility of circuit overseers to appoint the elders and ministerial servants, similar to how described by the Bible in Acts. This is in an April 2014 letter to congregations. Previously they were recommended for appointment by the local body of elders and then appointed by the Service Desk at HQ. Before that a congregation or company servant was appointed by the branch office. Before October 1932 (watchtower citation needed) such brothers were elected by the local congregations.
Qualifications for Overseers
The Apostle Paul set down the qualifications for overseers at 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9
Service Committee roles include:
Coordinator of the Body of Elders: (previously known as the Presiding Overseer) chairs elders’ meetings, assigns duties and speakers for most congregation meetings, and oversees financial matters. (as of Sept 2014 he must be less than 80 years of age)
Service Overseer: organizes matters related to public preaching, and oversees those handling Witness literature and territories.
Congregation Secretary: maintains congregation records, reports congregation activity to the branch headquarters, advises the congregation about conventions and assemblies, and oversees those handling accounts.
Additional roles within the body of elders include:
Watchtower Study Conductor: leads the weekly study of The Watchtower.
Theocratic Ministry School Overseer: conducts the Theocratic Ministry School, assigns student assignments, counsels students with a goal to improving their preaching skills, and conducts bi-monthly question-and-answer reviews.
Auxiliary Counselor: responsible for providing private counsel, as needed, to elders or ministerial servants that handle meeting parts.
Operating Committee Members: responsible for the care of the building and property of Kingdom Halls that are shared by two or more congregations.
Group Overseers: oversee groups for public preaching and pastoral care.
Public Talk Coordinator: schedules speakers and talks for the public meetings and co-ordinates traveling speakers from his congregation.
Literature Coordinator: responsible for inventory, ordering, and distribution of literature for Kingdom Halls that are shared by two or more congregations.
Additional roles outside the body of elders include:
Headquarter's Representative (formerly Zone Overseer) (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)
District Overseer (position deleted) (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)
Circuit Overseer (sometimes referred to as a Traveling Overseer)
(1 Timothy 5:17) 17 Let the older men who preside in a fine way be reckoned worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.
In Watchtower Publications elders are sometimes biblically referred to as:
Stars in the right hand of Jesus (See Revelation)
Gifts in men
Princes (Not all elders, only GB Helpers, and Circuit Overseers)
"Hiding place from the wind"
Committee Chairman (or member)
Zone Overseer (Term has been retired from use)
Branch Committee member
Presiding Overseer (Term has been retired from use)
Coordinator of the Body of Elders COBE
Congregation Servant (Term has been retired from use)
"Spiritually qualified older men"
Pillars in the truth
"Those keeping watch over your souls.."
Historical Publications Referencing Elders
The New Creation, Watch Tower, 1904, pages 289-290, "The administration of discipline is not the function of the elders only, but of the entire [congregation]. ... If the reproved one fails to clear himself, and continues in the error or sin, then two or three brethren without previous prejudice should be asked to hear the matter and advise the disputants. (Elders they may or may not be, but their eldership would add no force or authority in the case except as their judgment might be the riper and their influence the more potent.) If this committee decide unanimously with either party, the other should acquiesce and the matter be wholly at an end--correction, or restitution, so far as possible, being promptly made. If either of the original disputants still persists in the wrong course, the [accuser, a committee member] or, preferably, all of these together, may then (but not sooner) exercise their privilege of bringing the matter before the [congregation]. Thus it is evident that the Elders were in no sense to be judges of the members—hearing and judgment were left to the [congregation]. The two preliminary steps (above mentioned) having been taken, the facts being certified to the elders, it would be their duty to call a general meeting of the [congregation], as a court--to hear the case in all of its particulars, and in the name and reverence of its Head to render a decision. ... if the transgressor refuse to hear (obey) the decision of the entire [congregation], ... the [congregation] is to withdraw from him its fellowship and any and all signs or manifestations of brotherhood. [emphasis retained from original]
Talks Regarding Elders
Are We Really Spiritual Shepherds? - Timothy Pappas
Kingdom Ministry School for the 2015 Service Year
List of JW Terminology
Bethel Elder (no longer used)
Kingdom Ministry School
School for Congregation Elders
2011 Manual - School for Congregation Elders 2014 “School For Christian Couples” Graduation - Audio
Publications referencing Elders
2015 Amendments included in this 2012 printing of the "Shepherd the Flock of God"
2014 Letters to Bodies of Elders
July 13, 2014 Letter to Body of Elders (regarding appointment and deletion of elders and ministerial servants)
2005 - Organized to do Jehovah's Will
2013 Kingdom Ministry School Videos (Elders only viewing please)
1991 - ks-91E * "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
2010 - ks-10E * 'Shepherd the Flock of God' (Revised version)
1977 - "Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock"
1961 - Kingdom Service Questions
1955 - Qualified to be Ministers
Our Kingdom Ministry 10/98 p. 7 par. 1-2 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Secretary, "As a member of the Congregation Service Committee, he cares for the congregation’s communications and important records. ... He directly oversees those handling accounts and subscriptions as well as all convention-related matters." Our Kingdom Ministry 12/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Watchtower Study Conductor Our Kingdom Ministry 11/98 p. 8 Overseers Taking the Lead—The Theocratic Ministry School Overseer Our Kingdom Ministry'10/07 p. 3 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2008' The Congregation Book Study—Why We Need It, Our Kingdom Ministry June 2004, p. 4 pars. 4-5.
By Jack Ryan
If it was a crime can you imagine a judge saying "well nobody found out you robbed the bank because you covered it up. Well done you can continue as the bank manager and not go to prison."
"evidence of God's blessing" IS not getting caught - lmao 😂🤣
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
By Thomas Nilsen - The Independent Barents Observer
April 20, 2018
Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Murmanski Vestnik reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.
The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.
It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper. Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the first three months this year. In 2017, 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.
Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Human Right Watch argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
By Jack Ryan
"Shepherd the Flock of God" is intended for elders and is also used as a textbook during the Kingdom Ministry School
Shepherd The Flock of God.pdf
Chapter 1: Shepherd the Flock of God
Chapter 2: How Elders Work Together as a Body
Chapter 3: Appointment and Deletion of Elders and Ministerial Servants
Chapter 4: Assisting Those Who Are Weak
Chapter 5: Determining Whether a Judicial Committee Should Be Formed
Chapter 6: Preparing for the Judicial Hearing
Chapter 7: Judicial Hearing Procedure
Chapter 8: Appeal Hearing Procedure
Chapter 9: Implications of Disassociation
Chapter 10: Matters Related to Disfellowshipped and Disassociated Ones
Chapter 11: Reinstatement Committee Procedure
Chapter 12: Clarifications and Guidelines on Handling Certain Matters
List of Annotations
chapter 2, paragraph 11, after the first sentence, each elder should insert “He must be less than 80 years of age.”
By Srecko Sostar
According to this text in "Shepherd book", page 84,85 woman in JW congregation are viewed as minor children, not entitled to hear information that are important for her marriage and family life and her life at all. JW elders look at them as a people of the second rank. Even a male underage child or teenager or young male/man, who is baptized, has a higher status than any sister, young or old, single or married, publisher, pioneer or missionary or anointed.
Meeting With Marriage Mates
11. If the accused is a married sister, it is best
to have her believing husband present for the hearing.
He is her head, and his efforts to restore her and
direct her can be very helpful. (1 Cor. 11:3) If unusual
circumstances are involved or the elders feel it would
be best not to invite the husband because of their
concerns for the safety of the wife, the elders should
call the branch office.
12. If the accused is a married brother, his
wife would normally not attend the hearing. However,
if the husband wants his wife to be present, she
may attend a portion of the hearing. The judicial
committee should maintain confidentiality.
13. If the husband committed adultery, he
has an obligation to inform his wife of the facts. The
judicial committee should promptly inquire of the
Christian wife as to what her husband has told her. If
he refuses to inform her of his adultery, the elders
should inform her that because of her husband’s
conduct, it is up to her to decide whether to pursue a
Scriptural divorce or not. Furthermore, they should
inform the innocent mate that her resuming sexual
relations with the guilty mate would negate any
claim to Scriptural freedom. But they should not give
her further details. On the other hand, the elders
may find that while the husband did confess adultery
to his wife, he did not tell her the full extent of his
wrong conduct and left out important information
that the wife should know. The elders should not pro-
84 “Shepherd the Flock of God”—1 Peter 5:2
vide this confidential information to the wife, but
they can suggest that she speak with her husband
again. Even if he does not tell her anything more, this
will alert her to the fact that he is withholding information
from her, and this may help her to determine
whether to forgive or not.
Chapter 6 85
By Srecko Sostar
According introductory words in "Shepherd book", this publication is "congregation property". What would be your answer on question -What is congregation? Who are members of congregation? By normal logic all JW members are congregation and by their membership (legality of membership come through baptism) in congregation are entitled to read this book and to get to know the content of this book. But this is not how reality looks. Many, almost all "ordinary" members even doesn't know that this book or similar written instructions exist.
Another shocking fact from the 2010 Letter to the elders come to daylight. Instruction to elders given by GB (or from some WT Department that is under direct supervision of GB) shows us once again how this "theocratic" organization treats women's at all, and sisters as members of the congregation. Sisters are compared with unbelievers and working stuff of outsides companies. Shameful!
This publication is congregation property. A
copy is issued to each appointed elder. If an elder
is deleted for reasons other than moving to
another congregation with a favorable recommendation,
he should turn over this handbook
to the Congregation Service Committee. The
secretary should keep the book in the congregation’s
file so that it may be returned to the
brother if he is reappointed as an elder. No
copies are to be made of any part of this publication.
Neither is it to be converted into any
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA
All Rights Reserved
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC.
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
This publication is not for sale. It is provided as part of a worldwide
Bible educational work supported by voluntary donations.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the modern-language
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—With References.
“Shepherd the Flock of God”—1 Peter 5:2
Made in the United States of America
page 6 quote
2. “Shepherd the Flock of God” has been designed
as a handbook for elders to supply vital information
that will help them care for congregation matters.
page 7 quote
Because of efforts to simplify this publication,
it does not cover every aspect of our work as elders.
At times you may need to consult other publications
and letters to the body of elders for detailed
information. Be alert to future direction and adjustments
so as to stay up-to-date on theocratic direction.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
This is a three part question with THREE related answers:
I saw a movie about a year ago about this Cowboy, driving his jeep through the desert, and he comes upon about six cars and pickup trucks grouped together, out in the middle of nowhere ... with bodies all around and in the vehicles. Apparently a drug deal had "gone bad", and the buyers and sellers had killed each other.. The pickup trucks are full of bales of drugs, and the cars are full of suitcases full of money. The Cowboy puts gasoline on the drugs, burning them up, and goes home with the money.
Did he STEAL the money ... and does he have a moral responsibility to return it to the people who were going to buy the drugs?
Bear in mind, he has broken NO LAW ... and he is not legally REQUIRED to report the criminal activity ..... much like the Society's position that they will not turn JW child sex abusers over to the police unless legally REQUIRED to do so.
Using the principles long established by the WTB&TS .... I would be inclined to keep the money !
Of course I would check for hidden tracking transmitters in the suitcases ... and take other evasive precautions.
.Question 1.) Did the Cowboy STEAL the money ... ?
Question 2.) Does he have a moral responsibility to return it to the people who were going to buy the drugs ... ?
Question 3.) What would YOU do?
EXTRA CREDIT: Was it immoral for the Cowboy to deliberately destroy the drug dealers' property?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
My wife and I are planning to see the movie "DUNKIRK" this weekend, and I have seen "Saving Private Ryan", and "Schindler's List", all very violent war movies, and in my opinion very IMPORTANT movies to see.
The list of incredibly important movies could fill a notebook.
I could probably list 10 off the top of my head .. some important for very different reasons.
"The Notebook" comes to mind.
Some, merely cultural icons, like the entire STAR WARS and STAR TREK franchises, etc.
What has been your actual experience about what kinds of movies the Brotherhood actually sees ?
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
I remember in the 1960's and 1970's when some Kingdom Halls had a closet with white dress shirts, and visiting speakers would NOT BE ALLOWED to give their talks if they were "inappropriately dressed". I was called off the platform during a Ministry School assignment because I had a blue shirt under my suit coat, and chastised because I had a mustache.
When Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue, did he have to conform to the dress code of Rabbis, and the sideburns never trimmed, and the long Long, LONG beards they had, in order to be allowed to teach from the "platform"?
I hope someone out there knows Jewish "rules' and customs about "dress codes" in Jesus' time ... he was referred to as "Rabbi".
What is a Christian Man's MORAL responsibility to protect his own life, or that of his immediate or spiritual family?By James Thomas Rook Jr.
SCENARIO: You are at a packed Kingdom Hall on Memorial night, and ten minutes into the remembrance talk, six masked people with weapons enter the Kingdom Hall and begin shooting everyone they can, without any conversation.
You are shot in the left side of your face and most of those teeth are gone.
Before you know what is going on twelve Brothers and Sisters have been shot, screaming and panic ensues, and there is blood and bodies and brains all over, and the shooting continues.
Would it be fitting for a Brother to use his handgun to return fire on the murderers to try and save his own life, or the lives of his Brothers and Sisters?
Or, in PubSpeak ... "Would it be fitting for a Christian to keep a firearm, such as a handgun or a rifle, for protection against other humans?" ( July 2017 Watchtower )
This raises MANY Theocratic, moral, ethical, legal, and Societial policy questions ... all of which have REAL answers.
What is the RIGHT thing for a responsible Christian to do?
Girl who was abused by her father from a age of 11 sought assistance from Jehovah’s Witnesses only to be molested by one of their eldersBy Guest Nicole
A WOMAN who was molested by her father over 5 years and afterwards by a Jehovah’s Witnesses she asked for assistance has oral out about her ordeal.
Terrified Angie Rodgers, from Ayrshire, was abused weekly by her perverted Jehovah’s Witness father Ian Cousins from a age of 11.
Angie Rodgers was 11 years aged when her father started abusing her
The dauntless teen eventually plucked adult a bravery to disclose in a Jehovah’s Witness elders, who took small action and she was after abused by one of them too, Harry Holt.
Angie, now 36, said: “I incited to a church for assistance and we was abused a second time.
“I was a child and they should have helped, though they incited on me. They make me feel sick.
“I don’t consider I’ll ever get over what happened. I’ve usually schooled to live with it.
“I have nightmares and flashbacks all a time and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”
Angie’s father was detained for 5 years in 2002 for his crimes, while Holt was usually jailed final year for Angie’s attack along with 7 others he molested.
Now aged 36, Angie, a mother-of-four, has bravely waived her anonymity in a wish her story will assistance other people.
She said: “Dad did it whenever he got a chance, even when we was ill.
Angie Rodgers poses here with others in a Jehovah’s Witness community
“Once, we was throwing adult with gastric influenza when father brought me home a feathery bunny, with a organic white floral dress and bloomers.
“My wordless went to a Kingdom (church) and my father scooped me adult in his arms from a couch, took me to his room and molested me.
“I prayed my wordless would come and save me though she never did. After that he used to try to hold me whenever we were alone. It got worse and worse.
“We went to a Jehovah gathering when we was about 14 and he attempted to rape me in a tent. He was usually interrupted when an elder shouted him from outside.”
At a age of 15 Angie confided in a friend, whose father led a opposite church, in a wish that they would be means to stop a abuse.
While her father Cousins was called in for a “judicial meeting” no movement was taken, as Jehovah’s Witness elders can't act opposite suspects unless “there is a admission or dual convincing witnesses”.
Angie was afterwards subjected to an talk by 3 masculine elders including Holt, where she was done to plead insinuate sum of a abuse.
She explained: “They even asked what I’d been wearing, as if it was my fault. It was excruciating. we was so genuine we was still personification with toys and Lego during 18.”
As Cousins showed plea for his sins he was authorised behind into a church after being reprimanded – and a abuse stopped.
A brief while after in 1997, Holt done a pierce on Angie when pushing her home following a event door-knocking for members.
She said: “On a approach home in a automobile he grabbed my leg and felt his approach adult towards my underwear.”
Shocked, a immature lady told her relatives about a occurrence and a explanation led to Holt journey to Edinburgh.
It was suggested in justice final year that he went on to abuse some-more children.
Angie motionless to make a censure to a military about her father when she found out he had also abused another dual girls.
She also incited her behind on a Jehovah’s Witnesses during 19 in a wish of starting fresh.
The sacrament is pronounced to inspire members to reject people who leave, and Angie claimed that she didn’t see her mom for 6 years after she left.
In 2014 a censure was done opposite Holt, and Angie concluded to come brazen and pronounce about her horrific experience.
In Feb 2016, 71-year-old Holt was condemned to three-and-a-half years in jail for a abuse of 8 girls between 1971 and 2004.
Angie said: “If what happened to me helps usually one immature lady – or child – go to a military it will have been value it. What happened to me is horrible though I’m perplexing to pierce on, differently my abusers have won.
“The sacrament is zero though a cult. Children are kept wordless by fears of Holy condemnation and Armageddon if they move a church into ill repute.
“It’s that fear and a fear of being shunned by friends and family if we leave that stops victims from stating to police. It’s primitive and it has to stop.”
When contacted, a Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t criticism on Angie’s box though they did criticism on their position in general.
The matter said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses detest child abuse and perspective it as a iniquitous crime and sin. Safety of a children is of a pinnacle importance.
“Elders do not defense abusers from a authorities. Anyone who commits a impiety of child abuse faces exclusion from a congregation. Any idea Jehovah’s Witnesses cover adult abuse is false.
“We are doing all we can to forestall child abuse and to yield devout comfort to any who have suffered from this terrible impiety and crime.”
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Guest Nicole
By Bible Speaks
"Let him call the older men of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him."—Jas. 5:14.
"And the prayer of faith will make the sick one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect." James 5:15,16
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