Do You Use That Box?
AS YOU have read The Watchtower over the past year, have you noted a new feature appearing in articles designed for congregational study? That is a small box, such as you will find in this issue on pages 23 and 29. What is this box?
We might call this new feature a ‘teaching box,’ for that is its intended use. Millions of persons attend congregational Bible studies, using The Watchtower. But a number of ministers assigned to teach these meetings have reported that some persons have difficulty grasping the main points of certain lessons. This is not surprising, for the apostle Peter admitted that many anointed Christians in the first century found that Paul’s writings contained “things hard to understand.” (2 Peter 3:16) Also, some other Watchtower readers have commented that they would retain more if they could have a concluding review of key points. In response to such needs, these boxes were introduced.
Now, after some months, are these teaching boxes appreciated and used? A Christian sister in Ohio wrote: “Thank you so much for the review points that appear at the end of the study articles in The Watchtower. They really help me in getting an understanding of the main points that should be remembered.”
A mother of two sons commented: “I’d like you to know that we appreciate and enjoy the questions and statements in the review box that you have been putting at the end of each study article. They are truly beneficial for reviewing the same week and the next week when we study the follow-up article.” Going beyond expressing herself over what has already appeared, a Christian in New York said: “I hope that it is Jehovah’s will that those questions will be in all the future issues. They really help you to get the sense of what the lessons are all about.”
The following comments made by a regular reader in England may help you to see ways that you can use these review boxes: “I find the latest Watchtower studies with the boxes and questions at the end a great help to me in getting the most out of the lessons. It is amazing how much more sinks in. After I first read an article through I can’t always answer the questions that I thought I could. So I go over the material a second or even a third time until I can answer every question. And I find that it has helped me to remember more.”
As you complete your personal study of an article, why not go over the teaching box point by point. If, without looking back into the article, you can answer each question or recall each key idea, excellent! But if you are a bit vague about a certain answer, or you sense that your grasp of the matter is not specific enough to explain it to others, turn back to the appropriate section of the article. Reviewing right there on the spot will greatly improve your understanding and will reinforce the points as a memory aid. It will not take much time, but it will pay rich rewards.
If you conduct the congregation Watchtower study, you have an added reason to employ the review boxes. Pace the lesson so that you have some time for review near the conclusion, then focus attention on the box. Rather than simply reading the points, or merely suggesting that the audience do so at home, try to deal with each of the points. When they are in question form, you may want to ask them of the audience as a ‘closed book review.’ In this way all in attendance will see what were the major elements of the study. You and they will remember the key points better too!