Help Young Ones to Become Familiar With Jehovah’s Organization
CHILDREN want to learn. Imagine the questions Israelite children in Egypt may have had on the night of the first Passover: ‘Why did the lamb have to die?’ ‘Why is Father putting blood on the doorway?’ ‘Where are we going?’ That Jehovah welcomed such questions is evident from what he had commanded Israelite fathers. Jehovah told them regarding future observances of the Passover: “When your sons say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ then you must say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the passover to Jehovah, who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when he plagued the Egyptians, but he delivered our houses.’” (Ex. 12:24-27) Later, Jehovah reminded Israel’s parents about the importance of answering their children’s questions regarding “the regulations and the judicial decisions” that Jehovah had commanded.—Deut. 6:20-25.
Clearly, Jehovah wanted children to be able to find satisfying answers to their questions about true worship—answers that would motivate them to love Jehovah as their God and Savior. Today, Jehovah desires the same for our young people. One way in which parents can inculcate in their children heartfelt love for God and his people is by helping them to become familiar with Jehovah’s organization and to understand how they benefit from its arrangements. So let us consider some ways in which young ones can be helped to learn more details about God’s organization.
The Local Congregation
Young ones need to get to know the congregation with which your family associates. To accomplish that, you as parents want to take your children along to all Christian meetings. In that way, you follow the pattern that Jehovah set for the Israelites, who were commanded: “Congregate the people, the men and the women and the little ones . . . , in order that they may listen and in order that they may learn, as they must fear Jehovah your God and take care to carry out all the words of this law. And their sons who have not known should listen, and they must learn to fear Jehovah your God.”—Deut. 31:12, 13.
From infancy, children can begin learning about Jehovah’s Word. The apostle Paul said about Timothy: “From infancy you have known the holy writings.” (2 Tim. 3:15) At meetings in the Kingdom Hall, even very young children begin to take in the information presented and to become familiar with the Kingdom songs. There, they learn to use and respect the Bible and Bible-based literature. Furthermore, at our meetings they will sense the presence of a quality that identifies Christ’s true followers—genuine love. Jesus said: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:34, 35) The warm love and genuine security that are evident in the Kingdom Hall will appeal to children and will help them to make attending Christian meetings a permanent part of their lives.
When you make it a practice to arrive early at the Kingdom Hall and to stay for a while after the meeting ends, your children will have a chance to make friends. Instead of letting them associate only with other children, why not introduce them to brothers and sisters of all ages? If they get to know the older ones, your youngsters will discover a delightful reservoir of experience and wisdom. Just as Zechariah of old, an “instructor in the fear of the true God,” exercised a fine influence on young Uzziah, king of Judah, so those who today have served Jehovah faithfully for many years exert a good influence on young people. (2 Chron. 26:1, 4, 5) While in the Kingdom Hall, you can also explain to your children the function of the library, the information board, and other features.
The Worldwide Organization
Children need to understand that the local congregation is a part of a worldwide organization of over 100,000 congregations. Explain the features of this organization, how it functions, and what role children have in supporting its work. Show them why you look forward to circuit assemblies, district conventions, and the visits of the circuit overseer.—See the box “Subjects to Consider During Family Worship,” on page 28.
As you have the opportunity, invite traveling overseers, missionaries, Bethel family members, and other full-time ministers to your home for a meal. Do not think that they do not have time for young people. These full-time servants are striving to imitate Jesus, who always welcomed children and spoke to them. (Mark 10:13-16) Hearing such servants of Jehovah relate experiences and noting their joy in sacred service, your children too may make the full-time ministry their goal.
What else could you do as a family to help your children to become more familiar with Jehovah’s organization? Here are some suggestions: Make a family project of considering the book Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom. Emphasize the devotion, humility, and loyalty that servants of Jehovah have displayed. Show how Jehovah used them to spread the good news throughout the earth. Use the videos produced by Jehovah’s organization to teach important lessons from the past and present. If you are able, visit the branch office and Bethel home in your country or perhaps even in other countries. Such visits will impress on your children how the earthly part of Jehovah’s organization under the direction of the faithful slave class is organized to supply spiritual food and guidance to the brothers worldwide, just as it did in the first century C.E.—Matt. 24:45-47; Acts 15:22-31.
Adapting the Information to Each Child
In teaching your children, keep in mind the way Jesus instructed his apostles. He once told them: “I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at present.” (John 16:12) Jesus did not overwhelm his disciples with information. Rather, he gradually taught them important truths so that they could assimilate them properly. In like manner, do not overwhelm your children. By feeding them small but regular portions of organizational knowledge, you will hold their interest and make learning about the Christian congregation an enjoyable experience. As the needs of your children change, you can repeat and enlarge upon what they have already learned.
The Christian congregation is a bastion of spiritual strength, and young people who zealously share in its activities are better equipped to resist the influence of Satan’s world. (Rom. 12:2) We are confident that you will find much joy in helping your children to become familiar with Jehovah’s organization. With his blessing, may they remain loyally attached to it and to the loving God whom we serve.
[Box/Picture on page 28]
Subjects to Consider During Family Worship
Here are some subjects related to organizational matters that you could consider during your Family Worship evening.
▪ Review the history of the local congregation. When and how was it formed? Which different Kingdom Halls did the congregation use? For this discussion, why not invite a longtime member of the congregation to your home to answer your children’s questions?
▪ Explain the purpose of the various congregation meetings and larger gatherings and how the children can benefit from them.
▪ Consider the purpose of the different schools established by Jehovah’s organization. Share experiences that show the good fruits that the graduates of these schools have been producing.
▪ Help young ones to see the importance of becoming regular publishers of the good news. Show them how they can contribute to the worldwide report published in the Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
▪ Consider the different forms of full-time service available to young people in Jehovah’s organization. Chapter 10 of the book Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will is a good source of information.
▪ Help young ones to understand why certain procedures are followed in the congregation. Explain why they should not act independently of Jehovah’s organization, even in small ways. Show them how they can contribute to good order in the congregation by following the direction of the elders.
Your children will benefit from making friends with longtime servants
[Pictures on page 26]
As in ancient Israel, parents today strive to give satisfying answers when asked questions about Jehovah’s organization