Benefit Fully from the Circuit Overseer’s Visit
1 How much we appreciate the visits of our traveling brothers! Truly, they are examples to us all “in speaking, in conduct, in love, in faith, in chasteness” just as were Timothy and Titus to the congregations they served. (1 Tim. 4:12) Along with the Memorial and assemblies, the visits of these brothers are truly high points in the service year.
2 It is good to consider the various ways you can benefit fully from the circuit overseer’s visit. For example, many plan ahead so that they can share in the auxiliary pioneer service during the month of the visit. By spending full days in service with him, not only are auxiliary pioneers greatly encouraged, but they also are assisted in reaching their required hours for the month. Usually a number of interested ones are contacted that week and so there is opportunity for more return visits which may ultimately develop into fine Bible studies. Of course, such benefits can be shared by all publishers who work in field service with the circuit overseer, whether they are regular or auxiliary pioneers or hard-working congregation publishers.—Eccl. 11:6.
3 Planning ahead may also help you to adjust the time of your Bible studies so that the circuit overseer will be able to accompany you. His wife will be pleased to work with as many sisters as possible. This arrangement may help you to improve your effectiveness as a teacher. (Prov. 1:5) It may also encourage your student to make further progress. If your Bible student has advanced to the point of sharing in the ministry, why not invite him to go along with you in field service during the circuit overseer’s visit?
4 Be sure to invite your Bible student to the Kingdom Hall when the circuit overseer visits. Many persons who are now serving Jehovah faithfully were encouraged to attend their first meeting during this special week of activity. In fact, it is not unusual for a congregation to enjoy new peaks in meeting attendance that week.
5 When the circuit overseer visits the congregation, it may be that he will want to sit in on some of the studies that are being conducted with those who have been inactive. If a sister has been assigned to conduct the study, it would be appropriate for the circuit overseer to conduct it on this occasion since it is being held with an inactive sister. Both would report the time spent on the study and the return visit would be counted by the publisher who regularly conducts the study.
6 The circuit overseer’s visit provides opportunity for us to associate closely with a spiritually older brother and to benefit from his many years of experience in Jehovah’s service. We may also discuss with him any personal problems we have affecting our spirituality. He is in a position to offer fine counsel. We also have the opportunity to enjoy happy fellowship with the circuit overseer and his wife by inviting them to a meal. This association may also help the children in the family to develop greater appreciation for Jehovah’s organization.
7 The entire congregation also benefits from the assistance the servants receive in caring for their responsibilities. They are aided in offering help to inactive ones and others needing encouragement. Often, the circuit overseer is able to provide encouragement to ill or infirm ones, even visiting them at their home or in the hospital, helping them to face tribulation with greater peace of mind.
8 Organizational matters as well as other questions or problems can be discussed with the traveling brother, particularly when he meets with elders and ministerial servants. As these responsible brothers follow through on the good counsel given, the quality of field service should improve. With the round of visits starting this month, the circuit overseer will spend time with the secretary and help him with his duties.
9 Paul, Titus and Timothy set fine examples for traveling overseers today. How grateful we are to have faithful men like these visit our congregations, providing us with the encouragement and help we need to press forward in our ministry. (Phil. 2:22) Be sure to plan ahead so as to benefit fully from the circuit overseer’s visit.