International Conventions Need Many Willing Workers
JEHOVAH’S Christian witnesses are rightly noted for their zeal, their willingness to work together to get things done. Typical is what occurred when they built an assembly hall near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An illustrated newspaper report stated that “approximately 200 men, wearing hard hats and work clothes, were pouring concrete and laying brick at a construction site and not one of them was getting paid.” Among other things, it also quoted one of the Witnesses having oversight as saying: “Sometimes . . . we have more men out here than we need.” A few days later the same paper told of a deacon who, by way of contrast, bemoaned that hardly anyone showed up to help in a project that was being sponsored by a “vast number of Protestant churches.”
Zeal has ever marked Jehovah’s true servants. Surely the tabernacle in the wilderness and its furnishings required much hard work. Did Moses find it necessary to compel, or force, his people or to pay them to do the necessary work? Absolutely not! Those Israelites back there were appreciative volunteers, even as we read: “Moses proceeded to call . . . every wisehearted man into whose heart Jehovah had put wisdom, everyone whose heart impelled him to approach the work in order to do it.” (Ex. 36:2) The account goes on to describe what all those willinghearted ones were able to accomplish.
The apostle Paul spoke of himself as performing his ministry willingly. (1 Cor. 9:17) And he counseled that giving material aid to needy fellow believers should be done willingly, not under compulsion, “for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7) And the apostle Peter admonished older men, elders, to perform their duties, “not under compulsion, but willingly.”—1 Pet. 5:2.
Annually our district assemblies offer fine opportunities for willing souls to serve their brothers zealously and unselfishly. And at the coming international conventions this will be the case still more.
As Jehovah’s loyal dedicated servants, we are all interested in letting God’s Word prove true, even as Jesus did, by carrying out all that had been foretold regarding him. (Rom. 3:4; Luke 24:26, 27, 44-46) Do we have the same loyal spirit regarding God’s prophetic Word? Then we will offer ourselves willingly, freely, cheerfully at these conventions, for Jehovah God caused to be written in his Word: “Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day of your military force . . . You have your company of young men just like dewdrops.” (Ps. 110:3) Have we not been living in the day of Jesus Christ’s military power since 1914? Indeed we have. He is still carrying out Jehovah’s foretold will regarding him. Should we not also be carrying out what Jehovah foretold about us?
The coming international conventions promise to be occasions of great spiritual feasting. The Governing Body is working hard, together with other brothers at headquarters, to provide a fine spiritual banquet for all of Jehovah’s servants able to attend. The same can be said of the brothers at the branches in those lands where these assemblies will be held. But it is not enough just to prepare this spiritual food. There must also be fine provisions for distributing this nourishing spiritual bread to all attending these conventions, as well as the arrangements to care for their other needs. That means volunteering to help out at such conventions. There is truly work for all. Especially needed are those “wise ones” who have professional experience or ability to take the oversight in directing the various departments. All others can volunteer to help wherever ‘the need is great,’ as attendants, or in the cleaning and sanitation, cafeteria and refreshment departments, to mention but a few.
Yes, willing workers, many of them, will be needed if the brothers attending the 1978 International Conventions are to be made comfortable and able to hear and enjoy the programs provided by the “faithful and discreet slave.” The brothers serving on the platforms have the privilege of dispensing the spiritual food. Supplying the material necessities and conveniences is also important. Only if both spiritual and material needs are properly provided will all those coming to these conventions be truly built up spiritually. They will then be able to return to their homes with the same mental attitude that the Israelites of old had upon returning to their homes from the dedication of Jehovah’s temple in Jerusalem—‘joyful and feeling good at heart over the goodness that Jehovah had performed toward his people.’—2 Chron. 7:10.