WHEN the time came for Jesus to send his disciples out as Kingdom preachers, he said to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” There was much work to be done, so he added: “Beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:37, 38) Jesus told the disciples how to carry out their ministry. There was a sense of urgency in his words: “You will by no means complete the circuit of the cities of Israel until the Son of man arrives.”—Matt. 10:23.
2 Today, too, there is much to be done in the field ministry. This good news of the Kingdom must be preached before the end comes, and time is running out! (Mark 13:10) Since the field is the world, we are faced with a situation quite similar to that of Jesus and his disciples but on a much larger scale. We are few in number compared with the billions in the world of mankind, but we can be sure that Jehovah will help us. The Kingdom good news will be preached throughout the earth, and in Jehovah’s due time, the end will come. Will we put God’s Kingdom first in our life in order to accomplish our ministry fully? What theocratic goals can we pursue to that end?
3 Expressing what Jehovah asks of His dedicated servants, Jesus said: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.” (Mark 12:30) We are required to be whole-souled in our service to God. This means that we demonstrate the depth of our devotion and the genuineness of our dedication by doing our utmost in Jehovah’s service. (2 Tim. 2:15) There are opportunities open to each of us, according to our individual circumstances and abilities. Just consider what some of these opportunities are, and decide what theocratic goals you will pursue in fulfilling your ministry.
SERVING AS A CONGREGATION PUBLISHER
4 All who embrace the truth have the privilege of publishing the good news. This is the basic work that Jesus gave his disciples to do. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) A disciple of Jesus Christ usually begins speaking to others about the good news as soon as he hears it. That is what Andrew, Philip, Cornelius, and others did. (John 1:40, 41, 43-45; Acts 10:1, 2, 24; 16:14, 15, 25-34) Does this mean that a person may tell others about the good news even before he gets baptized? Yes! As soon as an individual qualifies as an unbaptized publisher in the congregation, the opportunity to participate in house-to-house witnessing is open to him. Also, according to his ability and circumstances, he may share in other features of the field ministry.
5 After a publisher gets baptized, he is no doubt interested in doing all he can to help others learn the good news. Men and women alike have the privilege of sharing in the preaching work. We are blessed to have even a small part in advancing the interests of God’s Kingdom. Anyone who can expand his ministry to include additional features of service will be happy indeed.
SERVING WHERE THE NEED IS GREATER
6 It may be that your congregation territory is frequently worked and a fine witness is being given. If so, you may feel that you could expand your ministry by moving to an area where there is a greater need in the field. (Acts 16:9) If you are presently an elder or a ministerial servant, there may be another congregation that would appreciate having your assistance. Your circuit overseer may have suggestions about how you can assist another congregation in the circuit. If you wish to serve in another area of the country, the branch office can provide helpful information.
7 Would you like to serve in a foreign country? If so, you need to consider such a move carefully. Why not discuss the matter with the elders in your congregation? Such a move will certainly have an impact on you and any who accompany you. (Luke 14:28) However, if you do not plan to stay for a long time, it may be best to consider serving in an area within your home country.
8 In some lands, brothers who are being used in positions of oversight are relatively new in the truth. Humble local brothers are willing to let more experienced elders who move into the congregation take the lead. If you are an elder and are contemplating a move to such a country, keep in mind that your objective is not to serve in place of the local brothers. Instead, serve with them. Encourage them to reach out and accept congregation responsibilities. (1 Tim. 3:1) Be patient if some things are not done as they would be done in your home country. Use your experience as an elder to be a real help to the brothers. Then, if at some point you must leave and return to your home country, the local elders will be in a better position to care for the congregation.
9 Before the branch office can provide you with names of congregations that could benefit from your assistance, your Congregation Service Committee will need to provide a letter of recommendation. This letter is required whether you are serving as an elder, a ministerial servant, a pioneer, or a publisher. The service committee will send the letter of recommendation along with your inquiry directly to the branch office of the country where you desire to serve.
PREACHING IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE
10 In order to expand your ministry, you may wish to consider learning another language, including a sign language. If you have the goal of learning to preach in another language, why not speak with the elders and the circuit overseer? They can offer suggestions and give you needed encouragement. Under the direction of the branch office, some circuits have organized language classes to train capable publishers and pioneers to preach in another language.
11 All publishers should be acquainted with the general requirements for auxiliary, regular, and special pioneer service as well as other types of full-time service. A pioneer must be an exemplary baptized Christian whose personal circumstances allow him or her to spend the specified number of hours in preaching the good news. The Congregation Service Committee approves applications for auxiliary and regular pioneer service, whereas special pioneers are appointed by the branch office.
12 Auxiliary pioneers may be appointed for a minimum of one month, for any number of consecutive months, or continuously for an unspecified length of time, according to their circumstances. Many Kingdom publishers enjoy serving as auxiliary pioneers on special occasions, such as during the Memorial season or during the month of the circuit overseer’s visit. Some choose vacation months. Baptized, school-age publishers may wish to enroll as auxiliary pioneers when they have time off from school. Publishers can choose to auxiliary pioneer with a reduced hour requirement each March and April and during the month of the circuit overseer’s visit. Whatever your personal circumstances, if you are of good moral standing and habits, can arrange to meet the specified hour requirement, and believe that you can spend one or more months as an auxiliary pioneer, the elders will be pleased to consider your application for this privilege of service.
13 To qualify as a regular pioneer, you must currently be in a position to reach the yearly hour requirement. As a regular pioneer, you will want to work closely with your congregation. Zealous pioneers are a blessing to a congregation, generating enthusiasm for the field ministry and even encouraging others to take up the pioneer service. Before you can apply to be a regular pioneer, however, you must be an exemplary publisher who has been baptized for at least six months.
14 Special pioneers are usually selected from among regular pioneers who have demonstrated their effectiveness in the ministry. They must be able to serve wherever the branch office chooses to assign them. Often, this is an isolated area where they can find interest and form new congregations. At times, special pioneers are assigned to congregations that need help in covering their territory. Some special pioneers who are also elders have been assigned to help small congregations, even when there is no particular need for more workers in the field. Special pioneers receive a modest allowance for living expenses. Some special pioneers are appointed on a temporary basis.
15 The Service Committee of the Governing Body appoints field missionaries, who are then assigned by the local Branch Committee to serve in densely populated areas. They accomplish much good in stabilizing and strengthening the preaching work and congregation activities. Very often, field missionaries have received training at the School for Kingdom Evangelizers. They are provided housing and receive a modest allowance for living expenses.
16 Those who are appointed as circuit overseers by the Governing Body receive training and gain experience first by serving as substitute circuit overseers. Such men love the ministry and love their brothers. They are zealous pioneers, diligent students of the Bible, and effective speakers and teachers. They are outstanding in manifesting the fruitage of the spirit, and they demonstrate balance, reasonableness, and discernment. If a brother is married, his pioneer wife is exemplary in her conduct and dealings with others. She is an effective preacher. She also understands her role as a submissive Christian wife, not speaking for her husband or dominating conversations. Circuit overseers and their wives have a rigorous schedule, so those reaching out for this service must be in good health. Pioneers do not apply for the circuit work. Rather, they make their desire to be in the circuit work known to their circuit overseer, who will provide them with suggestions.
17 School for Kingdom Evangelizers: There is a need for more Kingdom evangelizers to cover seldom-worked territories and to give congregations spiritual support. Therefore, single brothers, single sisters, and married couples may apply to receive specialized training at the School for Kingdom Evangelizers. After attending the school, graduates are sent out to serve as regular pioneers where the need is greater in their home country. However, those who can make themselves available may be given other assignments in their home country or in another country. A few may be sent out as temporary or permanent special pioneers. Pioneers who are interested in attending this school may learn of the requirements at the meeting arranged for this purpose at the regional convention.
18 Watchtower Bible School of Gilead: Single brothers, single sisters, and married couples who are selected to attend this school speak English and are serving as special full-time servants. They have the potential for strengthening and stabilizing the field or the branch organization. They have already demonstrated that they enjoy serving their brothers and can help others in a kind way to learn and adhere to Scriptural and theocratic direction. The local Branch Committee invites potential students to submit an application. Graduates of this school are assigned to the field or to the branch office in a foreign land or in their home country.
19 Serving at Bethel is a special privilege. The name Bethel means “House of God,” and that designation is certainly appropriate for these centers of theocratic activity. Brothers and sisters in Bethel service do a vital work in connection with producing, translating, and distributing Bible literature. Their service is invaluable to the Governing Body, which provides oversight and direction for congregations throughout the earth. Many Bethelites who are translators live and work in areas of the branch territory where the language they translate is spoken. This enables them to hear the language spoken in everyday life. They can also see firsthand whether people understand the language as it is used in the translated publications.
20 Much of the work done at Bethel is physically demanding. For this reason, those called to Bethel are mainly dedicated, baptized brothers who are young, in good health, and physically strong. If there is a need in the branch that oversees your country and you would like to serve at Bethel, you can learn more about the requirements from the elders in your congregation.
21 The construction of theocratic facilities is a form of sacred service, similar to the work of constructing Solomon’s temple. (1 Ki. 8:13-18) Many brothers and sisters show outstanding zeal by volunteering their time and assets to have a part in this work.
22 Are you in a position to assist? If you are a baptized publisher who is willing to share in such activity, the brothers overseeing construction in your area would appreciate your help and are willing to train you even if you have limited skills. Why not let the local elders know that you are available to help? Some baptized publishers who qualify have even been in a position to volunteer for construction work on theocratic facilities in other countries.
23 There are many opportunities to share in construction service. Exemplary baptized publishers with some measure of skill who can support projects near their home may serve as Local Design/Construction volunteers. Others are able to support more distant projects for a limited period of time and are appointed by the branch office to serve as construction volunteers for from two weeks to three months. Those who are appointed to serve on a long-term basis are called construction servants. A construction servant who is given a foreign assignment serves as an expatriate construction servant. A Construction Group made up of construction servants and construction volunteers takes the lead on each project and is assisted by Local Design/Construction volunteers and volunteers from congregations involved in the project. Construction Groups move from one project to the next within a branch territory.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPIRITUAL GOALS?
24 If you have dedicated your life to Jehovah, your desire is to serve Jehovah forever. But what are your spiritual goals along the way? Having spiritual goals will help you to direct your energies and other resources wisely. (1 Cor. 9:26) Setting such goals promotes spiritual growth and will help you to concentrate on the more important things as you reach out for additional service privileges.—Phil. 1:10; 1 Tim. 4:15, 16.
25 The apostle Paul set a fine example for us to imitate in our service to God. (1 Cor. 11:1) Paul exerted himself vigorously in Jehovah’s service. He recognized that Jehovah had provided him with many opportunities. To the brothers in Corinth, Paul wrote: “A large door that leads to activity has been opened to me.” Is this not also true in our case? Yes, there are many opportunities for us to serve Jehovah in association with the congregation, especially in preaching the Kingdom good news. But as in Paul’s case, going through that “large door” involves contending with “many opposers.” (1 Cor. 16:9) Paul was willing to discipline himself. Notice what he said: “I pummel my body and lead it as a slave.” (1 Cor. 9:24-27) Are we of that same mind?
Having spiritual goals will help you to direct your energies and other resources wisely
26 Each one is encouraged to work toward theocratic goals according to his personal circumstances in life. Many are engaged in some form of full-time service today because they set theocratic goals early in life. Even while they were yet children, they were encouraged by their parents and others to do so. Thus, they have enjoyed a very rich career in Jehovah’s service—with no regrets. (Prov. 10:22) Other worthy goals might be that we participate in field service each week, start and conduct a home Bible study, or take more time to prepare for meetings. The important thing is that we remain steadfast and fully accomplish our ministry. If we do, we will honor Jehovah and reach our ultimate goal, that of serving him forever.—Luke 13:24; 1 Tim. 4:7b, 8.