Pioneers Bestow and Receive Blessings
“PIONEERING is worth far more than a successful secular career. There is nothing more satisfying than helping people to get to know Jehovah and his truth.” So said one Christian woman who chose pioneering—full-time Kingdom preaching—as her career. How many other careers can give such happiness?
Pioneering is both a lofty goal and a precious privilege. How can an individual choose such a life? What is needed to stick with pioneering long enough to reap the blessings that it offers?
Two things are vital. First, the right circumstances. Many live in circumstances that clearly make pioneering out of the question. And second, the proper spiritual qualifications and outlook. Of course, whether present circumstances permit a person to pioneer or not, all can work to develop mature Christian qualities.
Why Some Pioneer
What are the qualifications for successful pioneering? Well, preaching skills are vital. Pioneers need to know how to present the good news to strangers, make return visits on interested ones, and conduct home Bible studies. Lack of these skills can discourage a pioneer. Nevertheless, other things are also important.
For example, everything to do with our worship is related to our relationship with Jehovah and his organization. This includes pioneering. A young pioneer named Rado explained: “For a young person, there is nothing finer than remembering Jehovah and walking in the way of the truth.” Yes, pioneering is a fine way for youths to demonstrate their love for Jehovah and closeness to him.—Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Knowledge and understanding are also indispensable. (Philippians 1:9-11) In effect, these are the fuel that keeps our spiritual engine running. Regular personal study is essential to avoid becoming spiritually drained, losing our enthusiasm and conviction. Of course, the knowledge we take in should affect not only the intellect but also the heart. (Proverbs 2:2) In addition to personal study, therefore, we need time for prayer and meditation so that the knowledge we gain touches the heart. Then, if our circumstances permit, we will want to pioneer.—Compare Ezra 7:10.
Taking up the pioneer service also demands the spirit of self-sacrifice. A young man named Ron had all his plans for pioneering made. He was just waiting for the right circumstances so that he could go ahead. Specifically, he wanted a job that would allow him to pioneer and at the same time enjoy some of the finer things of life. When he mentioned this to a mature sister, her answer jolted him. She said: “Jehovah blesses deeds, not promises.” The young man found a job with a lower salary that allowed time for pioneering. Applying Matthew 6:25-34 will help a person to get along on a smaller income.
A humble willingness to follow good suggestions may well contribute to our entering the pioneer service. Early in her life as a Christian, Hanna cultivated a desire to pioneer. But she did not pioneer while raising a family, and later she got involved in a business career. Heeding good counsel from alert elders, she turned her back on her interesting secular career and took up the pioneer service. Hanna now experiences great joy in bringing others to dedication and helping inactive ones.
Gratefulness for what the truth has done in one’s life can also be an incentive to pioneer. Consider the case of one deeply depressed woman whose marriage was breaking up. This situation changed dramatically when she learned the truth of God’s Word and put it into practice. Thrilled by what the truth had done for her, she decided that the best way for her to show appreciation would be to pioneer and help others. This she did, and she now experiences the blessings of many Bible studies and a happy family life.
Others Can Help
Pioneers often produce other pioneers. Rado, mentioned earlier, was six years old when two pioneers studied the Bible with his parents. When still very young, he regularly accompanied these full-time preachers in the field ministry. Rado himself became a regular pioneer at the age of 17. Another young man, Arno, was raised in a Christian home but became spiritually weak. Later, he set out to restore his spiritual strength, and he now says: “I received a lot of encouragement from the pioneers. I associated with them especially during school vacations and at times reported as much as 60 hours a month in field service. After that, the step to the regular pioneer service [calling for 90 hours monthly] was not so great.” Meditating on the counsel of 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 not to use the world to the full has really helped such young people.
The pioneer spirit can take root more easily in a home where spiritual interests have first place and parents encourage their children to enter the full-time ministry. Philo, who grew up in such a home, remarks: “Many advised me to continue my education, to work for a secular future. But my parents helped me to make a wiser choice. They told me that if I really wanted to build for the future, my first priority should be developing a relationship with Jehovah.”
A young woman named Thamar also attributes her pioneer service to the example and efforts of her parents. She says: “I cannot really say when I developed a spiritual view of life, but I know I was not born with one. My parents’ custom of regularly sharing in field service and attending meetings, as well as their deep love of the truth, greatly helped me develop my spiritual outlook.”
Sticking to Your Decision
After a person enters the pioneer service, persevering in it enables him or her to reap the full benefit of that wise decision. Much practical counsel could be given to that end. For example, pioneers do well to learn how to schedule their time to make it as productive as possible. Yet, the most important factor remains an individual’s relationship with Jehovah and His organization.
Related to this is a prayerful attitude. “When I came into the truth, I wanted to pioneer very badly,” says Cor. However, his father demanded that he first finish a course at the Agricultural University. Afterward, Cor started pioneering. In time he got married, and his wife joined him in the pioneer work. When she became pregnant, he was faced with the possibility of leaving the pioneer work. “I prayed often to Jehovah and put before him my heart’s desire to continue pioneering,” says Cor. Eventually Cor found the kind of employment that enabled him to pioneer while raising a family.
Being content with material necessities is another factor that often helps a person to remain in the pioneer ministry. The apostle Paul wrote: “Let your manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things. For he has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5) Being content with the present things helped Harry and Irene to continue pioneering. Irene, who is blind, has been a pioneer for eight years. “We have never viewed our financial situation as a problem,” she says. “We just took care never to take on unnecessary financial burdens. We have always counted the cost. Our lives have always been simple, although very pleasant, and they have been rich in blessings.”
Many Joys and Blessings
Looking back over nine years of pioneering, Thamar says: “You come to be very close to Jehovah, as if he had actually taken hold of your hand.” (Psalm 73:23) Some trials also come to mind. “My own imperfections combined with those of others regularly troubled me,” adds Thamar. “Moreover, I would look at brothers and sisters who chose a more materially rewarding way of life, and their choice seemed rather appealing when I was out there trudging in the rain and cold. But in the depths of my heart, I would never want to trade places. What else except pioneering could bring such joy, such spiritual satisfaction, and such blessings?” Would you highly value similar joys and blessings?
Because pioneers spend much time in the Christian ministry, they are in a position to help a number of individuals to gain a knowledge of Bible truth. Harry and Irene, previously mentioned, say: “There are many privileges to be had in Jehovah’s organization, but helping a newly interested one to progress to the point of becoming a servant of Jehovah is the grandest of all.”
Another pioneer expressed matters well when he said: “The words of Proverbs 10:22 have proved true in my case: ‘The blessing of Jehovah—that is what makes rich, and he adds no pain with it.’ Time and again, this scripture has been fulfilled for me during the years I have served Jehovah.”
Parents, are you instilling in your children the desire to pioneer? Pioneers, do you endeavor to kindle this desire in others? Elders, do you support the pioneers in your congregation and help to build a pioneer spirit in others? May more and more of Jehovah’s people be moved to reach out for such rich blessings as they engage in the pioneer service.