Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples
WEEK STARTING DECEMBER 31
10 min: Song 74 and local announcements. Public talk this week covers chapters 1-3 of Family Life book; encourage congregation to read these.
20 min: “God’s Kingdom Is the Solution.” Audience participation. When covering paragraph 5, chairman might take the part of the householder; let the audience collectively be the publisher, offering suggestions as to what to say in response to various statements, how to direct attention to the Kingdom, and so forth. When handling one topic (perhaps crime and violence), invite school-age publishers to comment. As your main point, emphasize paragraph 4.
15 min: “Presenting the Good News—Talk About the Kingdom.” Use a demonstration setting in which the publisher is at the door. Make it natural; include common objections or situations. Stop demonstration at key points and have the audience offer suggestions or solve the problems. Emphasize that our objective should be to find persons who can be aided to become disciples.
10 min: Comments on the yeartext, John 15:8. Refer to 1979 Yearbook, pages 260, 261. If congregation has cassette tape recording of book of John, play John 15:1-8. If not, have brother read it well, then give talk discussing: (1) What the “fruit” is—overall Christian fruitage of fine works and evidences of God’s spirit operating in our lives each day, including participating in Kingdom preaching. (2) What is meant by “much fruit”—making Jehovah’s worship and service the truly big thing in our lives. Draw attention to local arrangements for field service during the days ahead.
5 min: Song 92 and prayer.
WEEK STARTING JANUARY 7
10 min: Song 63 and local announcements. Accounts report. Public talk this week covers chapters 4-6 of Family Life book; encourage advance reading of it. Also, request all to bring Family Life book to service meeting next week.
Talk by chairman (3 min.) covering points in opening paragraph. Highlight the scriptures.
Cover paragraphs 2-6 with audience participation. If possible, invite several young publishers in later teens who are good readers to come to the platform. These should be assigned in advance and prepared to read texts fluently. Have scriptures read by youths on platform and get application from them and others in audience.
In preparing this part, consider these points: What good results have come in your congregation from doing the things indicated by the scriptures in paragraph 2? Have any in congregation had an experience where they realized that holy spirit had led them to sheeplike ones? Holy spirit is a key to disciple making; encourage publishers not to hinder its operation by failing to call back on those who show interest. Give field service announcements for weekend.
20 min: “Hear What the Spirit Says to the Congregations.” To be handled by elder with fine teaching qualifications.
Brief introductory talk: Revelation 1:1 helps us to see that the things written in the book of Revelation were due to come to pass in a time future from that day. When would they be realized? John tells us: “By inspiration I came to be in the Lord’s day.” (Rev. 1:10) Has reference to the time since 1914, when “the kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” (Rev. 11:15) What was one of the first things John saw by inspiration? He saw the Son of man, Jesus, standing in the midst of seven golden lampstands or congregations, and Jesus had seven stars in his right hand, picturing the bodies of elders of those congregations. (Rev. 1:13, 16, 20) The purpose of a lamp on a stand is to give out light, so the congregations are to give out spiritual light. Jesus was there on an inspection tour to see how the congregations and their overseers were doing. Because this has special application since 1914, we are intensely interested in what the “spirit says to the congregations.” (Rev. 2:7) (Cover the above points in 2 minutes.)
Are we like the congregation at Ephesus? (Invite all to open Bibles to Revelation chapter 2. Audience participation.) What was commendable about the Ephesus congregation? (Rev. 2:2, 3) How do the elders today protect us from “bad men”? From what sin did the Ephesus congregation need to repent? (vs. 4) (They had lost the fervor of their love for Jehovah. We need to be careful so that lack of such love does not cause us to be indifferent about service or to fail to use God’s personal name freely when witnessing.) How was sectarianism, the following of a man, viewed by the Ephesians? (vs. 6) How can we show that we share that view?
Are we like the congregation in Smyrna? What were some of the things those in the Smyrna congregation had conquered? (Materialism, persecution, tribulation) (vss. 9-11) What do these things mean to us?
Are we like the congregation in Pergamum? For what were they praised? (vs. 13) As shown in verse 14, how did Balaam cause the downfall of many of the sons of Israel? What does that mean to us today? If guilty, what is needed to avoid the long sword of destruction from Christ’s mouth? (vs. 16)
Conclusion: Must be ever conscious that we are under inspection as individuals and as a congregation. We are under scrutiny of Christ, who has “eyes like a fiery flame.” (vs. 18) Salvation does not come merely from claiming to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Let us each pay attention to what the “spirit says to the congregations.”
10 min: Discuss briefly “More Meaningful Meetings for Service.” These should help us to keep in focus the importance of doing our field service with a view to disciple making. Song 25 and prayer.
WEEK STARTING JANUARY 14
10 min: Song 71 and local announcements. Public talk this week covers chapters 7-10 of Family Life book; encourage advance reading.
25 min: Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Twentieth Century, brochure, page 14, paragraph 3, through page 17. Select in advance a number of brothers who are good readers and who will comment briefly on material in the brochure. Have group come to platform. Chairman will pose questions to this group. Ask commenter to stand; he will cover an entire paragraph, perhaps answering several questions. Highlight the scriptures. After his comments, have the individual read his assigned paragraph to audience.
Emphasize that these are matters that we want people in our territory to know; all of us should be equipped to discuss them. Our being able to do this will help us to make disciples.
20 min: Review of Saturday Program of “Victorious Faith” International Convention. (Use only what can be covered in allotted time; emphasize what is needed locally. Discussion with the audience.) Theme for that Saturday was: “Have Faith to the Saving of Your Household.” (Heb. 11:7) Three talks on marriage on the morning program. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-6. Ask audience: How was this scripture used in discussing marriage? (The talk showed that this scripture outlines how problems, including marriage problems, arise because of disloyalty, people being lovers of themselves, not open to any agreement, having no natural affection; and such can indeed cause marriage problems.) To cope with problems one of the morning talks encouraged married men to be men of God. How does one show he is such? (Cultivates qualities of Galatians 5:22, 23. Keeps desires, passions under control. [1 Cor. 9:27] A woman of God seeks to follow good advice of Proverbs 31:10, 29-31. She is loyal to her husband [vs. 12], kind to lowly ones [vs. 20], careful in speech [vs. 26], and a diligent worker [vs. 27]. For men and women to cope with marriage problems, should follow good advice of Colossians 3:12-21.)
Saturday afternoon saw release of book Making Your Family Life Happy. What is the good advice given in chapter 2, pages 18, 19, under subheading “I Can Change Him”? Comment on chapter 3, pages 30, 31, under subheading “Disagree Without Being Disagreeable.” Ask audience for any comments on what particularly has interested them or has been of practical help to them from the Family Life book.
5 min: Song 55 and prayer.
WEEK STARTING JANUARY 21
10 min: Song 108 and local announcements. Public talk this week covers chapters 11-14 of Family Life book; encourage advance reading.
15 min: “Ways They Use to Tell It to You.” Enthusiastic discussion of material in brochure Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Twentieth Century, pages 18-22. Read paragraphs first. Wherever possible, have qualified publishers in late teens do this from seats. Isolate main points in each paragraph by asking appropriate questions. Use scriptures. Emphasize that our objective in all this work is to make disciples.
30 min: What Are We Doing with What We Are Learning?
Work needs to be done on this part WELL IN ADVANCE. Many fine field points and suggestions to help us in our everyday lives are covered in our Watchtower study, our congregation book study and in the public talk each week. Are we using what we are learning? On this part, use 10 minutes for each of these meetings. Early in the month, assign one or two book study groups to cover each of the three meetings; ask them to be alert to use points gleaned from material discussed at the meetings. They may use it in making a personal decision, in informal witnessing or when going from house to house or on return visits. We would like to hear their experiences on this program. This should not be a review of the meetings but should highlight how material from the meetings has actually been used.
Chairman should select points from the Watchtower material, book study material and public talk material that COULD be used but perhaps was not, and work this into the three 10-minute parts as time permits. Ask friends: “How COULD we have used this point in field service, in making decisions, in helping our children, in informal witnessing, and so forth?” Tell congregation that we are going to do this again next month.
5 min: Song 64 and prayer.