Those ‘Acquiring a Fine Standing’
1 Regarding ministerial servants, Paul wrote: “For the men who minister in a fine manner are acquiring for themselves a fine standing and great freeness of speech in the faith in connection with Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 3:13) The apostle was thus explaining, not a prerequisite for being a ministerial servant, but the benefits when such a brother does minister or carry out his duties in a fine manner.
2 The Bible sets high standards for a ministerial servant. (1 Tim. 3:8-10, 12) Brothers recommended should clearly be meeting these. Becoming a ministerial servant is no routine thing; it is not as if almost every adult, baptized male should have the position as a sort of titleholder. Ministerial servants should be exemplary, spiritual men.
3 Acts 6:1-6 illustrates what should be true of such men. (ad pp. 1162, 1163) So as to concentrate on the Word, the apostles needed assistance in caring for duties that were important, but that could be handled by other qualified men. They selected men “full of spirit and wisdom.” Hence, they would be worthy of the congregation’s confidence. Their selection was not just to take care of some menial task or to encourage them; it was a privilege by means of which they could work hard in serving the congregation.
4 Ministerial servants today help to care for many necessary duties involving the Kingdom Hall, distribution of supplies, and assisting elders with record keeping and accounts. In this way they work in behalf of their brothers and sisters. If they appreciate that this is what they are doing, they will be conscientious in fulfilling their responsibilities. Rather than being casual about showing up to care for assigned duties, they will be dependable week after week. In fact, if something beyond their control interferes with their being on time or handling their assignment, men of their spiritual stature can be counted on to make alternate arrangements. They will be concerned that the congregation is not left in the lurch. The congregation respects and treasures such brothers.—Luke 16:10-12.
5 Other avenues to serve may also open up. Though the elders have the primary responsibility to do “speaking and teaching,” ministerial servants with ability may be assigned instruction talks or parts on the service meeting. (1 Tim. 5:17; 3:2) They may even be asked to give part or all of a public talk. Their advancement can be greater if they will approach an elder who is experienced or gifted as a teacher and seek suggestions, or perhaps ask for counsel after giving a talk. Often they will be asked to read The Watchtower or perhaps, to conduct a book study where circumstances require it. Of course, conscientious preparation should be put into such assignments.
6 Because he is to be a spiritual example, a ministerial servant should have as great a share in the field service as his circumstances reasonably allow. He knows that thereby he is pleasing and praising Jehovah. It will also be a stimulus to those working with him. He can provide them with much fine training. They will know that he is not someone who merely handles details, but is an exemplary servant of Jehovah in all respects.
7 It is easy to see, then, why Paul said of such men that they “are acquiring . . . a fine standing.” This is not, as some suggest, an advancement in a church hierarchy. Rather, ministerial servants who “minister in a fine manner” are assured of a blessing from Jehovah and Jesus, and they have the respect and support of the whole congregation. Rightfully they acquire “great freeness of speech in the faith in connection with Christ Jesus.” Being true to their position, they are appreciated for their fine service; they have firmness of faith and can declare their faith without cowardice or fear of reproach.