Have You Worked Your Territory Thoroughly?
1 How do you view the territory in which you preach? Does your work in the territory assigned reflect diligence and heartfelt interest in people or indifference and apathy? One diligent service overseer from Texas expressed his disciplined steadfastness this way: “Every time I knock on a new door I become obligated to another person.” Whether we regularly share in covering group or personal territory, we should display our deep concern for those “hungering and thirsting for righteousness.”—Matt. 5:6.
PERSONAL AND GROUP TERRITORY
2 Establishing clearly defined territory boundaries is a God-directed arrangement. (2 Cor. 10:13; Gal. 2:9) Initially this ensures a more thorough witness being given. It also prevents much overlapping of effort that at times has resulted in irritated householders. In some instances several publishers unknowingly made return visits on the same householder. Thorough organization of territory coverage will help to alleviate this problem of duplicating our efforts.
3 While territory should periodically be worked by different publishers, some congregations arrange to have the same persons work a territory, or a selected portion thereof, several times. It may be advantageous to know the householder’s name. Also, householders are more inclined to open the door when the caller is someone they recognize.
4 When the same publishers work a territory it results in an economy of effort, time and expense. How so? First of all, the not-at-homes, return visits and Bible studies will be in a more confined area, not scattered about in a number of different territories requiring extensive travel. This, in turn, will create added incentive to call back on all those showing interest in our message. If you have been assigned a personal section of territory, why not put forth a diligent, organized effort to become acquainted with all those in your part of the “field.” (Matt. 13:38) In doing so, we reflect Jehovah’s own merciful attitude and recognize our personal accountability toward the lives of people in our community.—Jonah 4:11.
5 Many publishers are finding an increasing number of not-at-homes when calling at conventional times. Rather than making a long list of homes to which we seldom return, in some areas publishers have immediately reworked the not-at-homes. A difference of an hour or two has resulted in finding some of these individuals who had stepped out momentarily at the time we first called. This prompt, systematic return to all not-at-homes will in effect extend the amount of available territory. Thus, large sections of territory are not needed, and such an arrangement is helpful when the congregation’s territory allotment is small.
6 If we take our responsibility seriously, we will want to be certain that all persons in our territory are visited. Persistence and a willingness to fulfill our commission are needed, particularly in rural territory, “difficult” or often-worked areas and those not easily accessible to us. This requires that we personally keep accurate records of our results at each door. Do not be satisfied with making just one return visit, but persist in calling several times where interest is shown. As a result of such steadfastness, one publisher now has 80 individuals on his magazine route and conducts a number of Bible studies.
7 Industriousness, diligence and determination are all qualities we must cultivate if we are to accomplish our ministry. (Ezek. 9:11; John 17:4) Our service to God should not be conducted in a casual, haphazard way. But, rather, our genuine love for Jehovah and our fellowman should motivate us to review carefully how we have been carrying out our preaching commission.