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Why do Jehovah's Witnesses say they have no hierarchy or paid clergy in the church organization, when from the Overseer clergy and upwards they get a wage, fully funded car and pension.

Are the American men chosen by the church to be the Governing Body not a hierarchy - that has to be (as often quoted) listened, obeyed and not questioned?

Do they get paid and pensioned or do they do a proper job to support themselves? Has the Governing Body ever been made up of non Americans?

closed as too broad by Nathaniel, Dan, curiousdannii, Lee Woofenden, Mr. Bultitude Oct 21 '16 at 20:07

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, Tim. Please take the tour and see how we are different from other sites (this is not a discussion forum, but a Q & A site). You can improve your question by finding a source that makes that claim, and quoting from it, as well as citing it. (A link is fine, but name of book, doctrine, letter, teaching is also fine). The claim that you assert has been made is ... say they have no hierarchy or paid clergy in the church organization ... where is that stated? What is the source of that claim? – KorvinStarmast Oct 19 '16 at 13:41
  • For example, is this the source of your question? Or this FAQ? – KorvinStarmast Oct 19 '16 at 13:47
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    It would also be helpful to ask one question at a time – I don't see any connection between whether the governing body is paid and whether there are non-Americans on it. – Nathaniel Oct 19 '16 at 13:56
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    "when from the Overseer clergy and upwards they get a wage, fully funded car and pension" Do you have some sources for that? – curiousdannii Oct 19 '16 at 14:02
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The entire organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is funded by voluntary donations. There is no "company" that generates money to pay salaries.

Also, most cars that a governing body member gets is either one they bought before they went to serve at a branch office, or given to them by other brothers, or bought after years of saving

As said they don't get a salary, but they do get a monthly stipend as do everyone who serves at a branch office(my brother served at the South Africa branch which is how I know). It is not a lot, but suitable for the country you live in etc.

The governing body is mostly Americans now, but they are not limited to that. In fact many of their helpers are not American (as you can hear/see from watching the monthly broadcasts)

Choosing of a governing body member is done with great prayer and consideration - no one is just chosen and it doesn't matter the type or size of donation they make etc. It is done through the guidance Jehovah's spirit

Sources

governing body function

more governing body

paid clergy (same guidelines go for all branch members including the governing body)

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for taking the site tour. Thanks also for offering an on-point answer to the question. For more on writing good answers here, please see: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Oct 21 '16 at 6:30
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I can confirm that a hierarchy does exist and noticed that when the circuit overseer visit was happening he was treated with almost celebrity status and everybody got a bit giddy.

On being paid: yes they do get paid and are provided with a car. In the UK it was usually a mid spec Vauxhall Vectra.

I don't know if they get a company pension but it is highly likely.

Not sure of the score with the Governing Body or the reason for your question, but on doing some research it would appear that the governing body are all of American origin. Not sure why, and I don't know who chooses them. I have been told that it's similar to how the Pope is chosen, except that it is with a council of people and prayer.


I was a Witness for twenty years, but left over not believing the generations nonsense.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, Marsha. Please take the tour and see how we are different from other sites. While experience can support an answer, the general modus operandi here is to support an answer as well with official sources, or teaching, or belief (and in this case what the actual JW rules are or are not). If you could provide a bit more than personal experience it would improve your answer. We hope you will participate with us more in the future. – KorvinStarmast Oct 20 '16 at 19:13
  • As we do on SE sites, I edited your answer for ease of reading and organization. Please review the edit, and if it contains an error, please use the edit function to correct it. The purpose of edits is to make questions and answers improved / better / clearer. (And if I made an error, please accept my apology). – KorvinStarmast Oct 20 '16 at 19:18
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE, and thanks for offering an answer. For more on writing good answers here, please see: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Oct 20 '16 at 19:25
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    I understand what you mean about being giddy to see the circuit overseer, but it's never because of their status. Usually these brothers and their wives become good friends with those they work with in the ministry, which makes you look forward to seeing them. They are always the first to point out that they are just like everyone else. I haven't ever felt like a CO was "above" me. – 4castle Dec 22 '16 at 4:38

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