Part I—Congregation Meetings
1 How important are congregation meetings to you? How important is it to Jehovah that his people congregate before him regularly? Is your view of the meetings the same as his? He tells us how he feels about this aspect of our worship at Deuteronomy 4:10. (Read.)
2 Jehovah directed those meetings through his holy angels. But today he is dealing with us through his mighty archangel enthroned at his right side. “That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things heard by us. . . . For if the word spoken through angels proved to be firm . . . how shall we escape if we have neglected a salvation of such greatness in that it began to be spoken through our Lord?” (Heb. 2:1-4) When we view our divine instruction from this lofty plane, it is little wonder that Paul later in this same letter said what he did at Hebrews 10:25. (Read.)
3 Starting in January a slight change is being made in the length of the Theocratic School and service meeting. Each of the two meetings will be 45 minutes in length, not including the songs and prayers. This may help some elders and ministerial servants who need a little more time to care for their duties and responsibilities after these meetings. Others may find it helpful if they depend on public transportation. (Please see announcement on page 3 regarding arrangement for these meetings when circuit overseer visits congregation.)
4 With these meetings being somewhat shorter, each of us will want to be better prepared to realize the greatest possible spiritual benefits. Elders in particular will be conscious of their teaching so all go away edified. The Sermon on the Mount was a short meeting, but what powerful teaching was demonstrated in that little time! Do you and your family have a set time to go over the material to be covered in these meetings?
SUPPORT CONGREGATION MEETINGS
5 CONGREGATION BOOK STUDY: In January we will start studying the book God’s Kingdom of a Thousand Years Has Approached. This 416-page book, published in 1973, contains vital information that is even more apropos now than when it was first released. Think of the hundreds of thousands of new ones who have been baptized since it was first published. All of us, old or new in the faith, will benefit greatly from the spiritual “meat” contained in this book.
6 SERVICE MEETING: The service meeting is directly related to our preaching and disciple-making work. The more field service oriented we are, the more meaningful this meeting will be to us. Some take notes on exceptional field points and other information gleaned from the meeting and then use them in the various features of their field service. Our work is twofold: We sound a warning as well as search for sheeplike ones. Future service meetings will reflect this additional reason for our preaching. Let the service meetings motivate you to increased sacred service.
7 THEOCRATIC SCHOOL: As mentioned last month in Our Kingdom Service, the school has been revised for 1981. All will benefit from the counsel that will be given following the student talks and each student will have better in mind just where he needs to improve. This is helpful even to those in the audience who will be giving talks in the future as they may need to improve along the same line. The school will be reduced to a total of four talks each week to accommodate the shorter meeting. With a total of eight minutes to be used for discussion of the Bible reading assignment, this important aspect of the school will receive added emphasis. This is truly a time when Jehovah congregates his people together that they may hear his words.
8 “WATCHTOWER” STUDY: The Watchtower study could be likened to the main entrée of a finely prepared, five-course meal. It contains the solid food we all need to withstand trials and pressures. Are there any who are not experiencing such? Who then can afford to miss even one Watchtower study? Remember, neglecting our spirituality intensifies most problems! Remain firm in the faith. Attend regularly.
9 PUBLIC TALK: The Society plans to provide some new public talk outlines in March for those who are used as public speakers in the congregations. These will provide fresh information in line with the needs of God’s people.
10 We look forward to coming issues of Our Kingdom Service with additional information on each of the five congregation meetings.