Sharing the Good News by Contributing Personally
“Your contribution prospects” aids kingdom expansion everywhere
BACK in August, 1879, this magazine said: “‘Zion’s Watch Tower’ has, we believe, JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: ‘All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,’ fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.” The Society did not suspend publication, and The Watchtower has never missed an issue. Why? Because during the nearly eighty years since The Watchtower stated this policy of reliance upon Jehovah God, the Society has not deviated from it.
How about today? Does the Society still maintain this position? Yes. Has the Society ever begged you for money? No. Jehovah’s witnesses never beg for funds. They never petition, dun, pass a collection plate, charge admission, rent pews, conduct gambling or canvass businessmen.
What has the Society done? Given, not solicited; distributed, not begged. Jehovah’s witnesses give of what they have. They have the Kingdom good news and this they give, to the blessing of others.
Earth-wide, Jehovah’s witnesses are united in faith and in endeavor. This unity is evident in spiritual things and also in material things. They know that Proverbs 3:9 states: “Honor Jehovah with your valuable things and with the first fruits of all your produce.” Because every Branch, congregation and individual earnestly seeks to contribute to the welfare of all, the entire New World society is made spiritually strong and prosperous. Material prosperity does not lead to spiritual prosperity. Spiritual prosperity, however, does bring material prosperity sufficient for the needs of Jehovah’s work.
WAYS TO SHARE
There are many ways in which persons can share the good news by contributing personally. One way is in respect to Kingdom Halls. Kingdom Halls have various needs. All in the congregation use them. Someone has provided funds for their construction or rental, their lighting, heating and upkeep. Congregational support by everyone is necessary.
Contributions can be made to the Society for training, transporting and maintaining missionaries in sections of the world where the good news has not heretofore been preached. Donations can be made to the headquarters’ office in Brooklyn and to any Branch office in the world. Contributions made to any Branch help the work in all lands.
When one makes a donation, he does not always know exactly how it will be used, but he sees the results by the expansion of Kingdom preaching. There is no denying the expansion. Reports in the 1959 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses show that the Kingdom good news is being preached in 175 lands and islands of the seas by at least 798,326 Christian ministers. This is heart-cheering. Any gift, regardless of size, aids in sharing the good news with others.
The Society does not publicize contributions, in harmony with what Jesus said: “When making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you.” (Matt. 6:3, 4) To assure those who contribute that the donations are safely received and are greatly appreciated, the Society acknowledges contributions.
Is there anything greater that we could share with others than the good news? Indeed, whatever we do should have that ultimate objective, as Paul put it: “I do all things for the sake of the good news, that I may become a sharer of it with others.”—1 Cor. 9:23.
NOT UNDER COMPULSION
To share the good news with others, sometimes it is necessary to share material things. Paul shows the propriety of making announcement when a privilege of sharing in this respect arises. Nothing Paul said is a justification for solicitation: “I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to come to you in advance to get ready in advance your bountiful gift previously promised, that thus this might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as something extorted. Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Cor. 9:5, 7.
In harmony with Paul’s words, each year the Society calls attention to your privilege of making personal contributions and of indicating to the Society the prospects for such donations through the ensuing year. In doing this, the Society is not taking up pledges. Such announcement does not change any donation made in response thereto from being a voluntary donation. For example, in the preparation for constructing the tabernacle, Moses said: “This is the word that Jehovah has commanded, saying, ‘From among yourselves take up a contribution for Jehovah.’” The response? “The sons of Israel brought a voluntary offering to Jehovah.”—Ex. 35:4, 5, 29.
When David prepared for the temple building, he asked: “Who is there volunteering to fill his hand today with a gift for Jehovah?” The response? “It was with a complete heart that they made voluntary offerings to Jehovah.”—1 Chron. 29:5, 9.
Voluntary contributions today show Christian maturity. A child is not mature and he is also dependent, but he grows up. As Christians we should grow up respecting our responsibility to share the good news in whatever ways we can. When one is no longer a child, not only does he support himself, but he is able to care for others. So it is with individuals and congregations comprising the New World society. We reach the point of assisting in material things. A congregation can provide its own Kingdom Hall and then help some other congregation to obtain a Kingdom Hall, and otherwise advance the Kingdom work.
Were most persons on earth devoted to Kingdom activity, money might not be needed. Firms could make gifts to the Society of paper and other printing supplies: transportation facilities could carry Bibles and Bible-study helps without charge; construction contractors and workers could erect the needed Branch and Kingdom Hall facilities free. Postal systems could carry mail free of charge; supply houses could furnish brothers at Bethel with the needed food and clothing. But not everybody is interested in sharing the good news with others, and the Society does not own the paper mills and transportation facilities. The Society pays its way. If a person wishes to assist us in the work we are doing, we accept such assistance and appreciate it. However, we do not ask for it; they offer it. What we can do for such persons is to minister to their spiritual needs.
So that the Society can properly plan its activity for the coming year, there is a voluntary provision known as “Your Contribution Prospects.” This is not a pledge but merely a statement of what one hopes to be able to contribute during the coming year. How may you express yourself in this matter? By writing a card or letter to the Society’s Branch office of the country in which you live. For the United States address your card or letter to: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Treasurer’s Office, 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn 1, N. Y.
The expression could say something like this: “It is my hope that during the next twelve months I shall be able to donate to the work of preaching the good news of God’s kingdom the amount of $——————, which contribution I shall make in such amounts and at such times as prove convenient to me and as I am prospered by the undeserved kindness of Jehovah through Jesus Christ.” [Signed] On page 258 of this issue is a list of English-speaking Branch offices. A complete list is found at the back of most of the Society’s books and booklets.
Is it not a joy to stand before the world as a hard-working, self-supporting New World society? Is it not an inspiring joy to share the good news with others? As Kingdom preaching continues to expand and move mightily, we now again affirm that Jehovah God is truly the Backer of his work and his people.