Presenting the Good News—As Well-Trained Youths
1 In most congregations of Jehovah’s people around the world there are many young ones associated. What a blessing it is to see youths who are conscious of their spiritual needs and who enjoy attending congregation meetings. (Matt. 5:3, 6) The parents of these children are to be commended for the fine training they are giving their children in the spirit of Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.
2 But, should such training and discipline include only Bible study and meeting participation? Or should it also include training and participation in the door-to-door ministry? Most of us will agree that children should also become involved in the regular preaching activity. You may recall some excellent Bible examples of youths who were deeply involved in sacred service at a very young age. There was young Samuel, for example, who started temple service right after being weaned by his mother. Yes, he started his career in sacred service at a tender age, comparable to pre-school age today. At first his responsibilities were limited, but they increased as he grew older. (1 Sam. 3:1, 15) Then there was Jephthah’s daughter, who complied with her father’s vow and took up sacred service at the tabernacle when young. (Judg. 11:36-40) Young Timothy had a fine reputation as a zealous Christian youth. (Acts 16:2) Also, there were the four virgin daughters of the Christian evangelist Philip, and these all ‘prophesied.’ (Acts 21:8, 9) Yes, there are many fine examples in God’s Word of young people who were zealous for Jehovah and interested in taking up the sacred service assigned to them.
3 So today we find many of our young folks zealously presenting the good news from door to door. Truly they are to be commended for their fine efforts. And all of us who are adults, but especially the parents, should take an interest in encouraging and helping our youth to enjoy Jehovah’s service in the “last days” of this system of things. (2 Tim. 3:1) How can this be done?
4 Children should be trained at a very early age to accompany their parents in the field ministry. It seems that some parents leave their children behind while they are out in the field service. It may take a little more time and effort to get their children ready and take them along, but parents will find the effort is well worth it. And it is a part of their parental responsibility. The good example of parents taking the lead in the service cannot be over-emphasized. Taking the children along regularly will give them the needed training and should help them to build good habits and to recognize the importance of field service as they grow older.
5 What can a parent, or an adult minister, do to assist young ones who accompany him? For one thing, upbuilding conversation can have a fine effect on young ones. Good suggestions on proper behavior while in service are helpful if given in an upbuilding way. Also, help young publishers to appreciate the importance of the preaching activity and show them how they can have a share. (Matt. 28:19, 20) Very young ones can give householders a handbill or a tract. They might also be able to invite people to the Kingdom Hall, perhaps telling them the location and the time of meetings, letting them know they are welcome.
6 Many young ones especially enjoy witnessing with the magazines. Although quite young, they prepare a brief presentation of the latest issues and offer them for a contribution of 30 cents. They have good results. Those a little older pick out certain articles they have enjoyed reading and highlight these as they present the magazines. In this way, many young publishers have even been able to start magazine routes.
7 When young publishers who read well are working with older persons, invite them to read scriptures at the door. Adult publishers have done this informally or, in some cases, they mention that the youth enjoys going along or is being trained in the ministry. He can even comment on the Bible verse being used in the current Topic for Conversation. If the young publisher is old enough to carry on a conversation from the Scriptures then it is appropriate for the adult publisher to greet the householder, explain the purpose of the call, and introduce the young publisher who can then proceed with his presentation.
8 These are some of the ways in which to help our youth to share in the preaching activity on a regular basis. By getting into the habit of regularly participating in the field ministry, they will enjoy it more and more. This is part of the progress they need to make toward personal dedication and baptism. Elders who take an interest in all of the young ones in the congregation find that they do respond when help is given. Help the young publishers to become more effective in the ministry. They need the fine counsel given to Timothy: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.”—2 Tim. 2:15.