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|Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by mikeolu1: 5:16am On Sep 14|
I was in the circuit work from 1993 to 2000. Many things were different then, plus I served in a foreign country and I lived mostly in a missionary home. My comments are mine of course and other CO's may have completely different feelings about the circuit work. I did however interact with a lot of other CO's and DO's and hear their personal thoughts, which were often strikingly similar. There was always another CO or DO living in the missionary home where I lived, some were locals and some were missionaries as well. We would talk and compare notes every week. Also, while I vacationed here in the States, I would visit other CO's to get advice, we would talk for a long time. I enjoyed the camaraderie even though they were usually way older than me. We felt the same about a lot of things. I guess what I am trying to say is that a lot of CO's feel the same as I did, they just won't tell you, just as I wouldn't have told you back then.
Anyway, for what it's worth, here is my take:
Time to find the Kingdom Hall for that week and go over the records. It was always hot and sometimes I had a hard time finding the Hall. I would sit with the Secretary and go over the numbers. I would pull the last Circuit Overseers report and see what he wrote they needed to work on and I would ask the Secretary what they had done to apply the last CO's recommendations. I would see the percentage of meeting attendance versus publisher count. Usually it was over 100% on Sundays, a lot of non-publisher children were counted, and way less attendance during the week. I looked at the number of new publishers, newly baptized, how many were disfellowshipped and for what, who was deleted as elder or servant and why, who became inactive, what major problems were going on, etc. Mostly it was crunching numbers, though.
I would also see who they wanted to recommend for elder and servant. And I would try and get the secretary to talk to me about congregation problems and matters while I did the numbers, so I wouldn't have to stay too long. There was always at least one disfellowshipping and a reproof or two and they would always tell me why. Fornication or adultery usually. I also looked at the pioneers publishers cards, at those who had become inactive and I would ask why that happened. I wouldn't go over every name, only those that stood out somehow. For example, I would see a publisher card of a brother age 21 who was putting in 30 hours a month and have a lot of placements and a Bible study. I would ask about him. Why wasn't he being recommended as a servant? Sometimes he was recently reproved or he had problems with his attitude or perhaps pornography or drinking or a worldly girlfriend or he misses a ton of meetings or he was in college. Yep, college was a valid reason not to recommend.
Or another card would show someone whose hours had gone way down. Why? They were sick or had been offended or they were reproved or they seemed to be hiding something, they had suddenly started missing meetings. I would try to find out and schedule a visit with them. I would try to get a sense of the personality of the congregation and I learned early on to try to solve the problems early in the week. I tried to limit that initial Tuesday meeting to one hour.
...This brother is answering questions on the thread below, if you want to ask him questions, just go to the link below.
Here is an example of his answer:
What were you providing by way of training or training materials? Can you give a quick summary of your personal progression from unbaptized publisher through to CO, including approximate ages for each event?
I'm fascinated by your post, please continue. I like how you're outlining within each day of a typical week, I hope you eventually include details of irregular weeks (pre-assembly, various conventions, meetings with GB, annual meetings, etc). Thank you for sharing!
Answer by CO:
Ha ha training materials. All of us in the circuit work in that country used to joke about that. "Where are our training materials? Where is the training book?"
There was no book. I received a letter stating I was invited to CO training in two months time and prior to that to prepare three service talks adaptable to different situations. The training was two weeks long. I observed a CO for one week serving a congregation, I didn't give any talks or preside over anything. Then I served the next congregation and he observed me. Then that Sunday evening we sat down and he reviewed my performance and sent his recommendations to the Branch. Three weeks later I received my appointment and my circuit assignment. That's it! I received a copy of all letters to Circuit Overseers from 1973 on, some said to make sure we start the week Tuesday at 1 pm. Others talked about judicial matters. Others talked about assembly prep. It seems so bizarre that they would give us such a position with so little training. The Branch Organization Manual which was kept in the Branch Office Library, some of you have seen this, has a page or two on Circuit Overseers. It says they should be "seasoned elders and experienced pioneers." So usually a CO has a lot of elder experience. I had three years experience. by that time. After I was a CO for three years or so, I started to train other elders as CO's. Same thing. They would accompany me for a week observing, then I would observe them for a week. Then I wrote my recommendation to the Branch. I trained 7 elders to be CO's, I recommended 6 of them. One guy was so clueless even I couldn't recommend him.
But it's a joke, really. Where was the real training to actually help people? People on here keep asking the same valid question, where was your real training?
There was none.
Its a joke. Men dressing up in suits acting like they know how to tell others how to live.
My personal progression? Publisher at 5 years old. Baptized at 15. Pioneer at 16. MS at 20. MTS at 23. Missionary at 24. Appointed elder at my assignment at 24. CO at 28.
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by janefarms2015: 7:28am On Sep 14|
What exactly are u driving at?
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by mikeolu1: 2:41pm On Sep 14|
janefarms2015:The ship is sinking. Big guns are leaving.
The maths is not adding up.
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by mikeolu1: 8:46pm On Sep 15|
former Circuit Overseer was asked:
If he engaged in Any secret "sin", masturbation et al when he was a CO?
Circuit Overseer answered:
"The District Overseer meets with the Circuit Overseer once a year to encourage him and to give him any needed suggestions. So that week I give some talks and he gives others. Then on Sunday we have a private meeting where I can bring up anything I want. So this one DO, a real intrusive guy, starts asking me about my personal habits, he specifically mentions how almost all the single CO's and single special pioneers and elders have a "problem" with masturbation.
I was surprised at his candor about everyone else. I was also not going to tell him anything personal about myself as I had personally witnessed him drunk at a special Branch dinner for missionaries, saying crazy things into a microphone and just acting drunk. He also hated me for going above his head on a bunch of different matters. So I didn't tell him anything. Every week at least one brother confessed to me about masturbation. So did sisters occasionally, even a couple of older sisters confessed to me. I just told them that Jehovah is patient and to keep fighting against it. Of course, I had my own fight against it, so I tended to go easy on everyone else."
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by uvalued(m): 4:24am On Sep 16|
mikeolu1:am no JW but this CO them no gree make them marry ne?
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by mikeolu1: 3:37am On Sep 20|
uvalued:They are not stopped from marriage. But they will be removed from CO if the wife becomes pregnant.
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by joyandfaith: 9:38am On Oct 12|
you are poor student of history of jw. no ship is sinking. let us wait and see.
|Re: Jehovah's Witnesses: Another Former Circuit Overseer Tells His Story. by mikeolu1: 12:14am On Oct 14|
The rate of decline is so much on the rise.
Last week was the dedication of Warwick, NY the new jw HQ, the GB announced reduction in watchtower and awake printing and end of yearbook.
You know what happened? Membership of exjw sites jumped with one site recording 250 new members in the 2 days following the dedication. exjw/reddit alone has over 15,000 heading towards 16K now.
You only need to look at the last jw yearbook and you will see that even Japan recorded decline!. That's never happened.
Africa is the only continent with net increase. But all religion is showing increase in Africa for obvious reasons.
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