Covering Unworked and Unassigned Territories
1 What would you think of a farmer who repeatedly went out to plant seed in the plot of ground next to his home, but never got around to planting the fertile plot some distance away? Obviously he would get better results if he tried to grow crops on more of his land.
2 Yet it is sometimes like that when it comes to working territory. We may work in certain territories repeatedly, and yet other territories may not be worked. It is true that some territories are scattered or difficult to reach and the increasing cost of transportation can be a factor. It is also true that some territories are more productive than others. (Compare Matthew 13:3-8) But still, we want to give everyone the opportunity to hear the “good news” by planting the Kingdom seed to the extent we can.
3 With this in mind the brother assigned to care for the territory records encourages the local publishers and pioneers to check out territories that are less frequently worked. This may not be possible for everyone, but with good cooperation the congregation may be able to give better coverage of its territory. Sometimes more distant territories can be worked in good summer weather when days are longer and by enlisting the help of pioneers, auxiliary pioneers or others who are out in service regularly. Study conductors can also encourage their groups to share. You may find that people are more responsive in territories that have not been worked recently. What can you do to take the “good news” to them?
4 Besides these territories held by congregations, there are also unassigned areas. At the beginning of 1982 the territory desk in Brooklyn reported there were 344 counties or parts of counties that needed to be worked. Information was given to the congregations about this in a letter of January 1, 1982, and Our Kingdom Ministry for February contained additional information.
5 If your congregation is in a position to help cover such territory during the coming months, why not write the Society to inquire about territories that need attention? There is considerable territory not being worked in the mid-west and some in other areas. Territories may contain from 1,500 to 5,000 or more people, usually in scattered areas. With several car groups from a congregation working on weekends, many of these territories could be worked in a month or two.
6 Even a pioneer or a family group can be assigned such territory if it is available and request is made to the Society. Assignments are made on a temporary basis for no more than three months. Such activity would make vacation months long to be remembered. It would take fairly regular service for a family to cover one of these counties adequately during a vacation period. This would be a serious responsibility to accept. But if these people are just called on once this year, how many more opportunities will they have to hear and accept the truth this side of the “great tribulation”? (Matt. 24:21) This serves to emphasize the need not just to find the interest but to cultivate it to the extent possible by return visits, studies and even by correspondence. In this way those who love the truth, no matter how difficult they are to find or how isolated, can have the opportunity to become part of Jehovah’s great earthwide family of praisers.—Eccl. 11:6; Isa. 54:13.
7 It may even be that you are in a position to move to where the need is greater, whether in this country or elsewhere. The Society can tell you where help is needed, or your circuit overseer may be able to tell you of a nearby congregation needing help in regularly covering its territory. If you decide to write the Society, discuss it with the elders first to get the benefit of their advice. Please ask them to include a brief letter along with yours, giving us their recommendations. The Organization book gives more information on this on pages 134 and 135. Jesus said that he would have witnessing done in “the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Besides the considerable need to reach people in various parts of this country there is an even greater need in many other places. Are you in a position to help?
8 The Yearbook reports on lands where there are hundreds of thousands and even millions of inhabitants for each Kingdom publisher in the country. Presently the world ratio of publishers to population is about one to 1,900—a large assignment for each dedicated Christian. So let each one do as much as he can to help in covering unassigned and unworked territories while there is yet time. (Mark 13:10) True, persecution and other problems face us in these critical “last days.” Nevertheless, in keeping with Jesus’ command at Matthew 24:14 we want to persevere in reaching as much of the earth’s population as possible. By doing our part in proclaiming the Kingdom message before Armageddon comes, we can confidently leave the outcome in Jehovah’s hands.