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Highlights from the New Shepherding Book

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Elder from your early 20's


The elders should help brothers in their late teens to reach out and qualify to be ministerial servants. (w21.08 pp. 26-31) The following factors will be helpful when considering the qualifications of such a brother. Does the congregation respect him as a spiritual man? (1 Cor. 2:15, 16) Does he display “the fruitage of the spirit”? (Gal. 5:22, 23) Does he have a meaningful share in the ministry? Does his use of his time give evidence that he is putting Kingdom interests first? Do his conversation and comments give evidence of good personal study habits? What are his spiritual goals? Has he been “tested as to fitness”? (1 Tim. 3:10; Ps. 1:1, 2; Matt. 6:33; Eph. 4:29; see 1:6.4-5.) Brothers who are appointed as ministerial servants in their late teens or early 20’s have the potential to acquire considerable experience in handling a variety of theocratic responsibilities. By diligently applying training from the elders, they gain the respect and appreciation of the congregation. Although relatively young in years, exceptional ministerial servants may already be viewed as spiritually older men and qualify to be appointed as elders in their mid-, or even early, 20’s.—Phil. 2:20-22; 1 Tim. 3:1; w18.08 pp. 11-12 pars. 15-17.

(=Isaiah 3:4:"I will make boys their princes, And the unstable will rule over them)

On Child Abuse Reporting


From the Bible’s standpoint, child sexual abuse is a gross sin. (Deut. 23:17, 18; Gal. 5:19-21; w97 2/1 p. 29) Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child sexual abuse. (Rom. 12:9) Thus, the congregation will not shield any perpetrator of such repugnant acts from the consequences of his sin. The congregation’s handling of an accusation of child sexual abuse is not intended to replace the secular authority’s handling ofthe matter. (Rom. 13:1-4) Therefore, the victim, her parents, or anyone else who reports such an allegation to the elders should be clearly informed that they have the right to report the matter to the secular authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Gal. 6:5. 5.


CHAPTER 13/On Re-appointment

Before consideration is given to recommending a brother for reappointment as a ministerial servant or an elder who was deleted for viewing pornography, the brother (1) must have demonstrated over a sufficient period of time that he has overcome the problem and (2) must have the respect of the congregation, including his family. (See 8:10.) If so, and the brother was previously serving as an elder, it must be decided whether to recommend that he first serve as a ministerial servant. If his viewing of pornography was for a prolonged period, it would be best to recommend him first as a ministerial servant. However, if he was involved in only a few brief viewings of nonabhorrent forms of pornography and he took the initiative to confess to the elders, he may be recommended to serve again as an elder.

Sexual Offenders are a "do-not-call"


From time to time, secular authorities may inform the elders that a sex offender is living in the area. The notice may provide the address of the individual and may state the nature of his criminal activity. In such a case, the elders should list that address on the appropriate congregation territory card as a “do-not-call.”

Threaten Suicide and you're off the hook


In judicial cases in which the accused threatens suicide, it may be best for the committee to suspend the hearing to focus on helping him regain his balance. (See 12:80.) They should assure him ofthe committee’s desire to help him and then should broach the subject of depression and suicide, using the Scriptures and Bible-based publications. (Prov. 3:11, 12; 4:13; Heb. 12:5, 6, 1113) Depending upon his emotional state, it may be best to do this a day or two later. The elders can prepare by reviewing articles that will help them deal sensitively with the depressed individual. (g 4/14 pp. 6-9) The judicial committee should avoid unnecessarily prolonging the case, as this can cause undue stress for the accused.The judicial committee should communicate with the Service Department if there are questions about a certain case.

Threaten media involvement and you're off the hook


If the accused threatens legal action against the elders, the elders should suspend proceedings and promptly telephone the Legal Department. 19. If a memberofthe media oran attorney representing the accused contacts the elders, they should not give any information about the case or verify that there is a judicial committee. Rather, they should give the following explanation: “The spiritual and physical welfare of Jehovah’s Witnesses is of paramount concern to the elders, who willingly provide spiritual assistance. The elders extend this spiritual assistance confidentially. This makes it easier for those who seek the elders’ help to do so without worrying that what they say to the elders will be divulged later. Consequently, we do not comment on whether elders are currently or have formerly met to assist anyone in the congregation.” If there is a need to do so, the elders may obtain the inquirer’s name and phone number and inform him that their attorney will contact him.The elders should then promptly telephone the Legal Department."

Disfellowshipped?Get on the bus


Disfellowshipped and disassociated ones are generally expected to make their own arrangements for transportation to and from congregation meetings. However, in some instances a disfellowshipped or disassociated individual who is making a determined effort to regain a right standing with Jehovah may be in a situation that prevents him from obtaining transportation. It may be that he has no car and that family members or others are not able to help him. Perhaps he cannot afford public transportation or it is not available in his area. It may be that the distance involved, personal safety, or severe weather make it inadvisable to walk. In cases of real need, the elders can determine whether some assistance may be provided. Such assistance would be viewed as similar to public transportation in that there should be no conversing with the disfellowshipped or disassociated person. (2 John 10, 11) The elders should monitor the situation to make sure that any arrangements made are not abused.

Not in good standing? No WiFi password for you


If the bodies of elders using the Kingdom Hall determine that having an Internet connection at the Kingdom Hall would benefit the congregations and that the congregations can afford it, the elders should present the publishers with a resolution to obtain such service. Please note the following direction in this regard: (1) Access to the Internet should be password-protected. (2) Only publishers in good standing should be permitted access. (3) The password should not be announced publicly. Instead, it should be given to the approved publishers individually. (4) If a publisher were to use the Kingdom Hall connection to access inappropriate websites, his connectivity privilege would be revoked. (5) It is wise to change the password periodically. (6) If the Kingdom Hall is equipped with a computer that is connected to the Internet, appropriate Internet security practices should be implemented, such as those listed on page 28 of the August 2009 Awake! Additionally, Internet browsers provide various built-in security features, such as automatic pop-up blocking, privacy settings, flexibility in specifying websites that should be blocked, and website certificate validation. Also, most Internet service providers offer some advanced protection that may, for example, block fraudulent websites, prevent phishing attacks, and put in place parental controls. Although there is usually an additional monthly charge for these advanced security features, their benefits generally outweigh such costs.

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