Part I—Contributing Toward an Accurate Report
1 Why do we all like to hear good reports? Because they are refreshing and encouraging. “As cold water upon a tired soul, so is a good report from a distant land,” said the wise writer of Proverbs.—Prov. 25:25.
2 Even a fishing trip calls for an accurate report. Is it not true that when a person returns from fishing, he must satisfy the curiosity of all who see him? None are content to hear the fisherman say, ‘Oh, yes, I caught some.’ You know what the next question might be. And how encouraging if the number is high! Peter and his companions were somewhat discouraged when they had to report to Jesus that they had caught nothing after fishing all night. But how excited they were when Jesus told them to cast the net on the other side of the boat and they hauled in 153 big fishes! (John 21:11) Note the account does not say they caught some or even many. Rather, it gives an accurate report of 153 big fishes. Even the size of the fish was reported! How encouraged Peter and his companions were!
3 But if that is encouraging, how much more so to hear a good report about our brothers, what they are doing and the results they are getting! What if Our Kingdom Service would tell us each month that some were out in field service during past months and they spent a number of hours at it and placed some literature, and so forth? We would hardly get excited. Rather, we are encouraged as we see the fine results of our combined efforts from month to month in the Service Report of each issue. For example, do you know what the very first field service report for the United States showed as far as congregation publishers are concerned? It showed there were 8,052 “class workers” out in service, along with 350 pioneers. That was back in 1920. Compare that with the field service report in this issue of Our Kingdom Service and see if you are not encouraged.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
4 However, it is important not only that we each report what we have done each month, but also that the report is accurate. How can we be sure that it will be accurate? In this regard it would be good for each Kingdom publisher to review the guidelines set down in the Organization book on pages 126 and 127. It would not be appropriate for traveling overseers, elders or anyone else to set down rules or regulations about counting or reporting field service activity beyond what has been published by the Society. The Society is interested in knowing how much time is spent in proclaiming God’s truths to those who are not dedicated, baptized Witnesses. So time spent in shepherding or other calls made on those who are not strong spiritually and those who have not associated for some time should not be counted if the individual is a baptized Witness. It is a labor of love. The only exception would be where a newly baptized person has not finished studying two of the Society’s publications.