Proving Ourselves the Right Kind of Ministers
MOST persons professing to be Christians content themselves with believing on Jesus, going more or less regularly to church on Sundays and trying to keep the Ten Commandments. But, as all Christian witnesses of Jehovah well know, to be a Christian requires much more. Jesus Christ did not content himself with merely visiting the synagogue on the sabbath and trying to keep the Law. He kept busy making known his Father’s name and kingdom as a minister of Jehovah.
As he himself said: “For this purpose I nave been born and for this purpose I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” And also: “The Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister.” The Greek verb here translated “to minister” is diakonéo, and means “to be a servant,” and so to be a minister is to be a servant. Every Christian must therefore be a servant. Of whom? Of Jehovah, primarily, but also included is the serving of one’s neighbor.—John 18:37; Matt. 20:28, NW.
However, merely being a minister is not enough, we must prove ourselves to be the right kind of ministers.a That means we must continually make progress, advance to maturity, by making our minds over, by keeping clean from this old world, by ever becoming more able ministers, and particularly must we assist others to become mature ministers. We must follow Jesus’ “steps closely,” as Peter tells us. He not only preached but he also trained others so that they could ‘teach still others all the things he had commanded them.’—1 Pet. 2:21; Matt. 28:20, NW.
Emphasizing this obligation to teach others, Paul wrote to his young friend in the ministry, Timothy: “The things you heard from me with the support of many witnesses, these things commit to faithful men who in turn will be adequately qualified to teach others.” In fact, proving ourselves the right kind of ministers depends upon our teaching our brothers, as Paul also wrote Timothy: “By giving these advices to the brothers you will be a right kind of minister of Christ Jesus, one nourished with the words of the faith and of the right teaching which you have followed closely.”—2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:6, NW.
So that all things may “take place decently and by arrangement,” let each mature minister co-operate with his local congregational organization in this matter of assisting others, not being choosy as to who it is that is assigned to him, but glad to train him, for mutual upbuilding and the advancement of the witness work. On the one hand, the right kind of minister will set a good example, in neat appearance, in knowledge of the truth and tactful presentation, in punctuality and dependability, and in zeal and in adhering closely to organization instructions. And, on the other hand, he will be careful not to overwhelm the one whom he is training, nor to become overbearing or show impatience in dealing with him.—1 Cor. 14:40, NW.
Yes, let all right kind of ministers also imitate Jesus in their training work. He said: “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and become my disciples, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, . . . For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.” By effectively preaching the Word and by training others to preach we shall be proving ourselves the right kind of ministers.—Matt. 11:28-30, NW.
a For details, see The Watchtower, February 1, 1955.