A Revised Theocratic School
1 Since 1943, when it was first instituted, the Theocratic School has been a great help in training Jehovah’s Witnesses to preach and teach more effectively. In fact, the original textbook used in the school said: “It is to the one end of making each one a more efficient Theocratic minister to the honor of the Lord’s name; that he may be better equipped to publicly present the hope that is with him.”—1 Pet. 3:15.
2 From time to time there have been minor changes in the format of the school. You will notice some changes in the school program for 1981 when you read through the instructions and schedule that accompany this issue of Our Kingdom Service. What are some of these changes? For one thing, the Theocratic School will be 45 minutes in length. (See next month’s issue of Our Kingdom Service for further details.)
3 The time allotted for Assignment No. 1 is being reduced from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. Otherwise this assignment, including the material being covered, remains basically the same as in the current school schedule.
4 The 1981 schedule will allow eight minutes instead of six for highlights from the Bible reading assignment. This will allow more time for audience participation and thus all are encouraged to keep up with the Bible reading schedule with a view to participating in the discussion. Talk No. 2 will be handled as it is now.
5 Sisters will continue to be assigned to Talk No. 3, and this talk will still be based on My Book of Bible Stories. Talk No. 4, based on Watchtower and Awake! articles, will preferably be assigned to a male student. It will be the last talk on the program during 1981 and will be like Talk No. 5 on the current schedule. In many congregations the majority of the students are sisters and so Talk No. 4 may, at times, be assigned to a sister if desired. In this case the school overseer will assign an assistant as is currently done.
6 Also you will note that the new schedule sets out the number and title of the opening song for each week’s program. This should prove helpful. Another change has to do with counsel. Sometimes the school overseer has had a difficult time getting all of the students together after the school in order to give private counsel. So, in 1981, counsel will again be given from the platform after each student talk. In this way the student and the entire congregation can benefit from the good, constructive counsel given. (See School Guidebook, p. 11.) No doubt the students will want to review the points of counsel that they will be working on when preparing for the school.
7 In order to prepare properly, each student should have his own copy of the Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook, which explains in detail all the points of counsel. The school overseer will, of course, base his counsel on this publication, taking into consideration the experience of each individual student in the Theocratic School.
8 The value of the Theocratic School is summed up very well on page nine of the School Guidebook, where it says: “This school provides free training for the ministry. It serves the congregation in two ways: (1) The individual student is given a program of study that helps him to improve in ability to gather, develop and present information logically to others; and (2) the entire congregation receives much valuable information in the course of each week’s program. Improved spiritual appreciation and ministerial activity are sure to result.”
9 We hope the new school arrangement for 1981 will help each Kingdom publisher to follow the inspired advice of the apostle Paul: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.”—2 Tim. 2:15.