Accomplishing Our Life-giving Ministry Fully
TO WHOM does Jehovah God entrust his ministry? Is it to the ones rich in this world’s goods? those who are most popular? those who have graduated from a theological seminary? No, no, no! None of these factors count with Jehovah God.
He chooses those who are sincere, who love righteousness, who hunger for the truth, who are conscious of their spiritual need, who are willing to admit they can make mistakes and who are willing to learn. He chooses those who, because of faith, hope and love, have dedicated themselves to do his will and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. To all such Paul’s words apply: “Keep your senses in all things, suffer evil, do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.”—2 Tim. 4:5.a
What does it mean to accomplish one’s ministry fully? “Fully” means completely, entirely, thoroughly. It means doing all that is required; also, doing all that one can, or to the extent of his capabilities or opportunities. He who accomplishes his ministry fully leaves nothing unattended or only half done. To accomplish one’s ministry one must be conscientious, alert, fully awake to one’s obligations and opportunities.
Fully accomplishing one’s ministry, therefore, means devoting to it all the time one possibly can. It means buying out the opportune time because the days are wicked. There are so many demands upon one’s time, so many distractions. To serve fully requires, therefore, making a working schedule of one’s time and then sticking to it; not yielding to the temptation to procrastinate but always putting first the interests of God’s kingdom.—Eph. 5:15, 16; Matt. 6:33.
“Fully,” however, means not only quantity—not only being concerned with hour quotas—but also with quality. It means performing one’s ministry effectively, thoroughly, enthusiastically. It means being both dependable and adaptable. Only then can a minister hope to get results. That means sharing in all features of the ministry, including incidental preaching, not neglecting any because of love of ease, fear of man or natural aptitude or inclination. All this, in turn, requires that one take time for both individual Bible study and congregational training for the ministry.
More than that, accomplishing one’s ministry fully means going to serve where the need is great if able to do so; it means becoming a full-time pioneer minister if one is at all able to arrange his affairs so as to make room for it; and it also means serving as a vacation pioneer minister as opportunity affords.
Especially do the overseers or the presiding ministers of the Christian congregations have the obligation to accomplish their ministry fully. To be good overseers they must set the right example. They must be concerned with the spiritual welfare of those in their care and be concerned about protecting them from harm. At times a person’s worst enemy may be his own fleshly weaknesses. For the overseer to accomplish his ministry fully he must be alert to admonish such a one, kindly yet firmly, if he notices him growing lax, before it is too late.
Further, for an overseer to be accomplishing his ministry fully he must be able to delegate authority to others, so that he has time for all the things he cannot so delegate, or that are best handled by himself. Otherwise, he may become so busy and so concerned with efficiency that those needing help are diffident about coming to him with their problems, or he may get so out of touch that he fails to help the weak ones.
Why should all of Jehovah’s servants be concerned with accomplishing their ministry fully? Because they are serving the Great God Jehovah and he requires the best of his servants, exclusive devotion, loving him with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength, doing what they have to do with their very power. More than that, this ministry is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon men.—Ex. 20:5; Eccl. 9:10; Mark 12:29, 30.
Is this not a life-giving ministry? By accomplishing it fully, by persevering, by continuing steadfast Christian ministers will save both themselves and those that listen to them. Yes, of this ministry it can be said, even as Paul said of godly devotion, that it “is beneficial for all things, as it holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.” The more one engages in this ministry the greater one’s happiness, for “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—1 Tim. 4:8, 16; Acts 20:35.
a For details see The Watchtower, May 1, 1962.