Organizing for the Ministry
1. What did Jehovah teach his Son to do, and so what did the Son arrange for?
JEHOVAH is the greatest organizer and he taught his Son Christ Jesus how to organize. When on earth Christ selected disciples and taught them how to gather more workers who loved truth and righteousness. At that time it meant a “little flock”; now it means the gathering of a “great crowd” of “other sheep”. So as to assemble the “little flock” Jesus arranged for organizing the congregation and developed that into a strong working unit, with competent servants. Hence the apostle Paul quotes Psalm 68:18 and says: “He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as missionaries, some as shepherds and teachers, with a view to the training of the holy ones for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of growth that belongs to the fullness of the Christ; in order that we should no longer be babes, tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of craftiness in contriving error.”—Eph. 4:11-14, NW.
2. What was the purpose of all this organizing, and accordingly, whom is the congregation aiding today?
2 Jehovah God was very much interested in the proper organization and care of the early congregation. The Son Christ Jesus meted out the gifts of the spirit to his followers so that some could act as apostles, others as prophets and missionaries and still others as able teachers. But what was the purpose of all this in the body of Christ? This: “The training of the holy ones for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, until we all attain to the oneness in the faith.” Today this visible organization is also being used to aid the “great crowd” of “other sheep”. These are not of the “little flock”, but they must be brought to maturity in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God. These are not the ones to be joint heirs with him in the heavenly kingdom, but they will gain life under it in the new world of righteousness.
3. How must all view the organization, and how do they become mature?
3 Everyone who ever comes to the Lord’s organization, having studied the Lord’s Word, must see it only one way. God never purposed that there would be hundreds of different denominations throughout the world, each having a different faith, a different doctrine, etc. There could be only “one faith, one baptism; one God and Father”. Jehovah is desirous that everyone who seeks salvation come to an accurate knowledge of these truths. (Rom. 10:11-13, NW) He wants them to become full-grown, mature men. The only way a person can become full-grown is to gain knowledge, and this comes through education. The false religions are not disseminating this accurate knowledge from God’s Word. On the other hand, Jehovah’s witnesses want all kinds of men to be well acquainted with their Bibles and have this one faith. If they have this faith they will manifest themselves as Christ’s “other sheep”.
4. The purpose of all the training and instruction was to make all members what, and why?
4 The education that was being brought to the “little flock” members in the days of the apostles was for the training of the holy ones for ministerial work. The whole apostolic organization was an organization of ministers. It was not a laity class, with one or two clergymen over each congregation. All this training and instruction then being given the “little flock” was to make every member of that flock a fully competent ordained minister. There were not to be any spiritual babes in the organization for long. New ones would be coming in all the time, that is true, but they would not remain babes in the Word, “tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men.” There was not to be a division of ideas, with part of a congregation believing one thing and the other part another. By study all were to become mature, full-grown men. There must be unity in God’s visible organization. As it was then with the “little flock”, so it must be now with the “other sheep”.
5. For what splitting up was there no arrangement, and why not?
5 There was to be no stunting of growth, no relaxing. All were to watch for the trickery of men. There was no arrangement to branch off into a little Methodist group, or Baptist group, or some other religious organization and be content with one man’s teaching. Jehovah’s Word points out that one person may plant, another person may water, but it is Jehovah God who gives the increase. They all belong to God, not someone else.—1 Cor. 3:6-9.
6. How must each one become full-grown and stay in place?
6 Being recipients of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness now and belonging to Jehovah, the “other sheep” should work hard to become full-grown and to stay in God’s visible organization. To do this everyone must have the same mind. Study the truth!
7. By speaking what and by exercising what must they grow up? Why?
7 Paul went on to say, in his argument to the congregation of God: “But speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ.” (Eph. 4:15, NW) Yes, the vital thing was the speaking of the truth. The only place the apostles, evangelists and the missionaries of that day got the truth was from God’s Word. It is the same now. Jehovah’s witnesses today regularly receive visits from mature brothers, special representatives of the Watch Tower Society, and all of these are required to speak and live the truth as set forth in God’s Word. Not only these mature brothers, but the whole congregation of God, his visible organization, must look at things from God’s Word, seeing harmoniously and having God’s mind on matters along with his spirit. By closely associating one with another and by showing love for Jehovah and our brothers, “let us by love grow up.” If we did not have love in God’s visible organization there certainly would be a standing still and a retarding of growth. When there is discord and strife, there is no advancement. When there is peace, love and joy, things grow.
8. Like what organism must they be, as described by Paul?
8 The growing human body is a wonderful example of harmonious movement, function and co-ordination. A body can do things, can get work done; and while it is made up of many members, still there is no opposition on the part of any member of the body in accomplishing the desired purpose. This is why Paul went on to argue concerning the “body of the Christ”, that “from him all the body, by being harmoniously joined together and being made to cooperate through every joint which gives what is needed, according to the functioning of each respective member in due measure, makes for the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love”.—Eph. 4:16, NW.
9. How is this the way Jehovah’s witnesses function today world-wide?
9 When every tissue, every organ, every joint, every muscle of the human body responds to the instruction of the mind, what unity of action there is! This is a picture of how to achieve the oneness of God’s visible organization under the Head Christ Jesus. Things can be done by a person who is not awkward or clumsy and who has a well-formed and balanced body, one under full control. That is exactly the way it is with Jehovah’s witnesses today throughout the world. They are under control and receive instruction from the greatest instructor, Jehovah, through Jesus Christ. They study God’s Word and have his spirit. THEY GET THINGS DONE. Co-operation is received from every part of the organization, every department, every company, every branch, every missionary home. They all function unitedly as respective members of the whole organization, the body; and this makes for the growth of the organization in love.
10. What is the reason for their unusual growth?
10 When we review the work of Jehovah’s witnesses during the year 1951, it is again seen how they are working at unity. No doubt about it, Jehovah’s spirit is upon them in the work. They have not done the work in their own strength. They have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father”, and all the Lord’s people are associated in one visible organization built up in love; first, love for Jehovah, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and, secondly, love for one’s neighbor. This is the answer to the unusual growth of the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses.
LIBERATION FOR THE MINISTRY
11. In what are they interested, and how are they working for the liberation of others?
11 Jehovah’s witnesses today are interested in one thing no one else is interested in, and that is the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom in all the world for a witness. Not only are they interested in doing this themselves, but they have interest in training others for ministerial work. They know this means the salvation of others; as it is written: “Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Stay by these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.” (1 Tim. 4:16, NW) The witnesses of Jehovah are going to the ends of the earth, saying to the prisoners of modern Babylon, “Go forth!” Hundreds of thousands of all kinds of persons are ‘going forth’ from this Babylonish world. They are desirous of preaching the good news of the Kingdom. All they need is the necessary help and instruction.
12. How have people failed to get instruction from Babylonish religious systems?
12 One thing is certain: men of good will certainly have not received proper instruction from this old world’s Babylonish religions. Millions of people go to churches every Sunday and listen to their pastors, but after a ten- or fifteen-minute sermon and the religious ceremonies for the day the people leave with no good news to preach to the world. They have heard a little about some popular book which was reviewed, or they have listened to something on politics. Maybe the pastor did discuss some abstract thought from the Bible or use a Scripture text and then wander off into some easy-listening philosophy. But where is “the one hope”? Where “the one faith”? Where the accurate knowledge of the Son of God? Where the growth to the full-grown man? Where is there interest in God’s kingdom? Where is the one visible organization built on love?
13. With right instruction what would church members all be? Why?
13 If the so-called “Christian” churches were being taught the Word of God and the truths presented in the Bible, then all the members of the congregations would be trained to be ministers. Did we not find in our study (page 13, ¶ 4) that the reason teachers were given was “with a view to the training of the holy ones for ministerial work”? Yes. Hence, to engage in pure, undefiled worship means you must be a preacher, a minister, a servant of the Most High, Jehovah. Christendom has failed in this respect.
14. How do the witnesses work to make the interested ones ministers?
14 In contrast with the indifferent way taken by false religion, Jehovah’s witnesses diligently work to make everyone who shows interest in the truth a competent minister of God’s kingdom. They try to bring all immature ones to a mature knowledge of God’s Word. Jehovah’s witnesses go into the homes of the people when invited and study with them. These ministers of Jehovah will spend all the time the people of good will desire so as to help them to know what God’s Word has in store for them. After these interested persons study the Bible and the publications that are used as study aids, it is not long before they start talking to their neighbors. It is not much longer until they come to the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s witnesses, to which all lovers of righteousness are invited, there to study deeper things pertaining to God’s Word. A little more time and they are ready to go from door to door preaching the good news of the Kingdom. Next, they dedicate themselves to God in imitation of Jesus, who said: ‘I come, as in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do your will.’ (Ps. 40:7, 8; Heb. 10:5-9) They believe that God’s Word contains instruction for them to follow, sets forth his purposes, and clearly indicates to them their responsibility to God now to be ministers to “declare to the nations the good news”.—Eph. 3:8, NW.
15. Despite some being special representatives of the Society, what are all of Jehovah’s witnesses, and why?
15 The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society does send out missionaries, teachers and special representatives who are trained in aiding others to gain a better knowledge of the Lord’s Word. Everyone needs building up in the most holy faith. Still, ALL of Jehovah’s witnesses are ministers, because that is why God has been and is gathering together his “other sheep”, to train them for ministerial work. In this organization of ministers we see a new world society working at unity. Jehovah’s witnesses make up Jehovah’s visible organization today. Seek them out. Study with them. Hundreds of thousands are already doing so.
16. How many such have been active monthly on the average, and how?
16 During the past year many have heard the call, ‘Come forth from the prison houses of Babylon!’ They have left Catholic churches, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues and heathen temples. Since their coming forth they have studied and prepared themselves for the intensive preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses worldwide. During the year the organization of Jehovah’s witnesses has had a monthly average of 384,694 ministers who were engaging in the preaching work every month, comforting people from door to door, making back-calls and conducting home Bible studies with the interested. These zealous publishers have accomplished a tremendous amount of work during the service year of 1951.
GENERAL SURVEY OF WORK DONE
17. What peak of publishers was reached, and what does the Society want them to continue to be?
17 These 384,694 publishers were not alone in their work. They were taking along and training some “babes”. Some who had been prisoners in devilish organizations heard the good news of God’s kingdom and began to pull away from the old world and its way of thinking, and they associated themselves with these publishers for the new world. They too went out and preached, 57,686 of them, for the first time. Combined, that means 442,380 ministers—a new all-time peak for Jehovah’s witnesses! The Society is interested in the welfare of every one of these 442,380 persons and it wants to see them continue as ordained ministers. This is the way Paul felt. He wanted to help the members of the early church to become qualified, fully grown, mature ordained ministers. Paul knew why he was called; he said: “I should declare to the nations the good news.” He said we should imitate him as he imitated Christ. If it was his responsibility to declare the good news, then it is the responsibility of everyone who comes to this knowledge to declare the good news. That is why Jesus said he gives “gifts in men”, namely, “with a view to the training of the holy ones for ministerial work.”
18. How must the spiritual babes be helped, and to what end?
18 Many of these 442,380 persons who are preaching need to be brought to maturity. They are babes not a year old and they cannot remain babes the rest of their lives, in danger of being tossed about by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching. They have to be well trained. They need constant attention and help. Bible studies must continue in their homes. They must come to service meetings, participate in the theocratic ministry school and attend the Watchtower studies that Jehovah’s witnesses conduct in their Kingdom Halls. They will go out in the field with seasoned publishers. Circuit servants will visit their companies and take them out in the preaching work and give them advanced training. Questions on the Bible which may be bothering them will be answered. They must study diligently the publications of the Society along with their Bibles. They cannot afford to remain babes; they must become full-grown and appreciate the visible organization God has set up and be an active part of this body that functions all to the honor and glory of Jehovah’s name. Their keeping busy in the preaching activity and keeping up with their studies “makes for the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love”.
19. Why will not this training work let up?
19 This training work will not let up either, because Jehovah’s witnesses will continue to “say to the prisoners, Go forth”. (Isa. 49:9) Why should lovers of righteousness stay in the old world and go down with it at Armageddon and die for an eternity, when they have the opportunity of pulling away from this system of things and of enjoying life in a new world of righteousness?
20. What distribution of literature was there in 1951, and how many hours were spent?
20 A most wonderful work is going on. People are hearing this good news and heeding it. They see the unity of God’s visible organization and they flee to it for safety. Of course, it means a big change in their lives, but it is all for their benefit. It is interesting to observe that during the 1951 service year 17,732,323 books, booklets and Bibles were distributed by Jehovah’s witnesses world-wide. It took a lot of time to distribute these publications along with the 20,046,485 copies of the Watchtower and Awake! magazines that were placed with the people. This was certainly planting seed. These witnesses of Jehovah devoted 62,854,483 hours to talking the Kingdom and doing this planting and watering. But just why did they do this? For the simple reason that Christ Jesus, the Pattern they are following, preached the good news continually, saying that the kingdom of the heavens is at hand. He also gave a command to the effect that this good news of the Kingdom shall be preached now in all the world for a witness. Jehovah’s witnesses are glad for this command and are zealous in doing their ministerial work.
21. How many return visits were reported, and how many home Bible studies conducted?
21 In order to help everyone they could, they made 20,438,000 back-calls on persons interested in God’s message. Just think of that! Going back to the homes of the people over 20 million times during the year, trying to help them gain a better knowledge of the Bible! And the record shows that every month throughout the year there were 260,187 Bible studies held in different individuals’ homes throughout this whole world. These studies were conducted at least once every month, but usually every week. Jehovah’s witnesses want to help these people of good will all they can. That means work. But it is joyful work.
22. What percentage of increase in publishers was there, and in how many lands?
22 This organization of Jehovah’s witnesses is not one that is standing still; it is growing rapidly: In fact, in 1951 we saw an increase of 17 per cent over the preceding year in the number of persons taking up this good news and proclaiming it. As you look at the chart, on pages 16, 17, you will be able to see the comparative work of the 121 countries that are listed. For such expansion of the work world-wide it was Jesus who said: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations.”—Matt. 28:19, NW.
23. How about the number of those baptized, the pioneers, branch workers, and pieces of literature produced?
23 Many people are seeing that Jehovah’s witnesses are a blessed and happy organization in the earth even though persecuted and that they have the favor of God. Many who see this are forsaking this old world and its organizations and are coming to Jehovah’s organization. One fact alone that proves this is that during 1951 there were 63,178 individuals who symbolized their dedication to do Jehovah’s will, by water immersion. These want to be at unity with God’s visible organization and share in the blessed promises of the new world. During the year many ministers entered the pioneer work and now 17,955 are spending full time in this branch of ministerial activity. Another 1,004 work at branch homes doing office work, caring for the buildings, and others of this number did the printing of 4,955,201 books, 13,604,283 booklets; 30,256,927 Watchtower and 21,422,620 Awake! magazines for subscribers and for distributors, and 278,820,411 handbills, tracts, placards and office forms.
24. For what are branch workers and headquarters workers grateful, and what is it still our blessed privilege to do?
24 All of the brothers in the branch homes and the headquarters office in Brooklyn, New York, enjoy serving their brothers world-wide. They are grateful for the undeserved kindness of Jehovah toward them and all of Jehovah’s witnesses the world over. And with their brothers around the world they will continue to “say to the prisoners, Go forth”, so that all liberty lovers may enjoy the blessedness of the unity of God’s visible organization. Our blessed privilege it is to help all such liberated ones to get organized with us for the ministry.
[Chart on page 16, 17]
1951 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLD-WIDE
(See bound volume)