A Ministry for You?
JEHOVAH has shown his generosity in perfectly provisioning the earth for our enjoyment of life. He generously let these provisions remain even after Adam and Eve rebelled. What is more, he has expressed his surpassing love in sending his Son to save believing humans from the calamity of sin.—Matthew 5:45; John 3:16.
How can we respond to such love? Jesus said that we must love Jehovah our God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. This suggests that we owe him our worship and loyalty and that we should live our lives in harmony with his will.—Mark 12:30; 1 Peter 4:2.
But what is involved in doing God’s will? Is there a service that we can render to him—a ministry that we should share in?
A Need for Ministers
The churches have confused people as to how to worship and serve God. Yet, the Bible shows that there is only one true religion, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all persons.” Jesus said: “True worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth.” Hence they are counseled: “You should all speak in agreement, and . . . there should not be divisions among you.”—Ephesians 4:3-6; John 4:23; 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Confusion as to what is the true religion began in Eden when Satan challenged the rightfulness of Jehovah’s sovereignty by questioning God’s way of ruling. (Genesis 3:1-6, 13) Satan now sustains this opposition to God with counterfeit teachings spread by deceitful religious ministers who “keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.” So the Bible says: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression . . . because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”—2 Corinthians 11:14, 15; 1 John 4:1.
Happily, God has taken steps to settle this issue of rulership. Having sent his Son to redeem mankind, he has now made Jesus the King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, with authority to destroy Satan and his prophets, or ministers. This will ensure that God’s will is done on earth, to the everlasting blessing of obedient people.—Daniel 7:13, 14; Hebrews 2:9.
Satan has obscured these truths. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Thus, there is a need for us to serve as ministers of God, exposing Satan’s falsehoods and bearing witness to the truth. Jehovah does not force us into this service. He wants us, like Jesus, to offer ourselves willingly out of appreciation for him and for what he has done for us.—Psalm 110:3; Hebrews 12:1-3.
The Christian Ministry
Jesus “went journeying from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the kingdom of God.” (Luke 8:1) He also trained his disciples to be ministers like him and sent them out to preach. (Matthew 10:1-14, 27) Later, he commissioned them to continue the ministry to the ends of the earth.—Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8.
This commission rests on true Christians, and God’s spirit motivates them to preach. As happened at Pentecost 33 C.E., all who accept the good news take up the responsibility to make public declaration of their faith.—Acts 2:1-4, 16-21; Romans 10:9, 13-15.
Most people, though, cannot see themselves as ministers. Peter, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, says: “Men in Germany often consider it below their dignity to talk about religion. ‘That is for clergymen to do,’ they say.” According to Tony, a missionary for decades, people in England have said: “What you are saying is good, and I think Jehovah’s Witnesses are fine people. But to go from door to door preaching—I just could not do that.” Ben studied the Bible for a while with a Nigerian man who told him: “I cannot show myself preaching publicly from house to house; but I could give money to your congregation to help those who are willing to do that.” Yes, most people lack the faith and conviction needed for the Christian ministry.
Nonetheless, public preaching is the responsibility of all in the Christian congregation, regardless of age or sex. It is not only for the elders and the ministerial servants, who ‘take the lead,’ but also for Christians in general. All are exhorted: “Offer to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public declaration to his name. . . . Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you.”—Hebrews 13:15, 17.
Addressing a mixed crowd in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.” On another occasion he showed that doing God’s will includes preaching to unbelievers. His disciples were urging him to leave off preaching to some Samaritans in order to eat, but he said: “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”—Matthew 7:21; John 4:27-38.
Should It Be Your Career?
People usually prefer to pursue material food and wealth. But earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus advised his listeners against anxiously pursuing such things. “Rather,” he said, “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and [God’s] righteousness.”—Matthew 6:20, 33.
Seeking first the Kingdom means not letting other interests overshadow our ministry. However, doing this does not mean excluding everything else. For example, the Bible encourages us not to neglect genuine family obligations. We hold such obligations in common with all humans. To neglect them is to act in a way that is contrary to the Christian faith. (1 Timothy 5:8) Nevertheless, we should do all we reasonably can in the ministry while handling other responsibilities in a balanced way.
Jesus said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached . . . for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) The context of that prophecy places its fulfillment in our day. Since 1914 the good news is that the Kingdom has been empowered to act in favor of Jehovah’s sovereignty and against Satan and his world. (Revelation 11:15-18) We should think seriously about the implications of this. The end will come, and we must get the preaching work done before then. Lives are at stake; we can help to save many of them.
Reach Out for a Fuller Ministry
Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses devote ten or more hours each month to sharing the good news with others. Thousands spend two or more hours a day in preaching as auxiliary pioneers, and others serve continually as regular and special pioneers. They appreciate the urgency of this work and want to have the fullest share possible to get it done before the end of this unhappy world comes.
Are you already an active Witness of Jehovah? Then reach out for a fuller share in the service. Improve your proficiency in preaching and teaching, trying to accomplish more in the ministry. If you are in a position to become a pioneer, do so. If your circumstances genuinely do not permit you to, then encourage those who can to reach out for this service.
If you are not a dedicated Witness of Jehovah, do not say that the ministry is not for you. Another man named Peter, a mechanical engineer, strongly objected to his wife’s sharing the good news with others. “How can I have my wife preaching from house to house?” he would ask. After years of observing her firm conviction regarding the truth of God’s Word, he decided to study the Bible too. Now, like his wife, he is a dedicated, baptized minister of the good news.
So do not bar yourself from the privilege of serving Jehovah. We encourage you to study the Bible and to associate with true Christians at their meetings. This will help you to mold your life in harmony with God’s righteousness and to build up firm faith in his purposes. If you make progress in this, you too will qualify to be a minister of God. You will then be privileged to share in carrying out this command of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples . . . teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.”—Matthew 28:19, 20.
Yes, there is a ministry you may share in, and it is more urgent than ever for you to do so.
[Box on page 25]
A nurse with a family to care for says: “I travel over one hour every day to the hospital where I work, so I thought I could not auxiliary pioneer. But I carefully organized my activities to share in the field service early each morning before going to work, during break periods, and on days off. You can imagine my joy when, by the end of one month, I had spent 117 hours in preaching! I placed 263 magazines, 22 subscriptions for the magazines and was able to start 3 Bible studies.”
[Box on page 27]
Michael has seven young children, and he holds a responsible job in a Nigerian college. He is also an elder in the Christian congregation. He shares the view of thousands of Witnesses:
“I view the ministry as my career and always recall that Paul said: ‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept making it grow.’ My wife and I ‘plant’ during brief house-to-house discussions of the good news. We ‘water’ by returning to those who show interest to teach them from the Bible, as Jesus said we should. Weekly home Bible studies have helped a great number—in some cases whole families—to come to a knowledge of the truth.”