● Is your congregation getting the benefits that result from the sharing of service privileges with all capable, qualified brothers who are associated?
Upon the shoulders of the elders falls the heavy responsibility of teaching. That is why they are generally the ones to whom such assignments as conducting the congregation book study and delivering public talks and instruction talks are given. However, this does not mean that capable ministerial servants could not handle some of these same responsibilities. The use of these brothers will depend upon the need for their services and their ability to teach. It is often very practical for elders to have the help of ministerial servants in such teaching.
For example, the Organization book on page 81 explains that it is advantageous to have elders conduct book studies because teaching is involved, perhaps even taking more than one study if circumstances permit. But it also states: “If more book study conductors are needed, the local body of elders may request certain ministerial servants who give evidence of teaching ability to serve as substitute conductors, until such time as an elder is available.” This provision helps to keep the elders from becoming so occupied with caring for several studies that they cannot give proper attention to other responsibilities and aspects of congregational needs.
Similarly, it is good not to overlook the possibility of getting help from capable brothers newly arrived in the congregation. Thus, if a brother who has been appointed as an elder or a ministerial servant elsewhere moves into another congregation, it is not always necessary to wait a number of months to get acquainted with him. Rather, the elders would do well promptly to dispatch a letter to the elders of the congregation that the brother came from to get their comments on his qualifications and their recommendations. If their recommendation is favorable and the elders of the congregation where he now associates are satisfied that he qualifies, a recommendation may be submitted to the governing body. In the meantime the local body of elders can determine how the brother can be used to assist the congregation.