Improving Our Teaching Ability—By Demonstrating Personal Concern
1 “Feed my little sheep.” (John 21:17) With those words, Jesus emphasized his genuine love and personal concern for sheeplike ones who need to be spiritually fed the Word of truth. Three times Jesus stressed to Peter that, by ministering to others, he would be demonstrating his love for the Messiah.
2 Jesus proved himself a real friend and an affectionate companion to his followers, ‘loving them to the end.’ (John 13:1) As imitators of him, we need to display similar personal concern toward prospective new disciples, sharing with them the vital truths of God’s Word. (Matt. 28:19, 20) There are several ways we can do this.
TAKE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN THEM
3 Personal concern can be shown by inviting Bible students to the meetings and making arrangements for their transportation when necessary. By being generous, kind and hospitable, we help our students to see true Christianity at work. Godly qualities are contagious and often engender a spirit similar to that which we display toward them, resulting in the development of fine, close friendships based on principled love.
4 Showing interest in our Bible students on occasions other than during the formal study can also be most rewarding. As the students advance in the truth, some publishers show hospitality by inviting them to their homes where they find wholesome, theocratic fellowship. Inviting other publishers on such occasions contributes to their making new friends. (Read Mark 10:29, 30.) Such theocratic association can aid their growth to Christian maturity and help them cultivate good habits. (Prov. 13:20; compare 1 Corinthians 15:33.) As they fellowship with us and observe our fine Christian conduct, undoubtedly they will see that we are not just preaching the Word of God but living by it, making it a way of life.—Jas. 1:22.
5 Occasionally, we may feel that our students are not making the progress we expect of them. What should we do? We should lovingly assist them in the areas where help is needed the most. If they have difficulty overcoming certain weaknesses, search out from the Society’s publications helpful reference material that bears on the problem and share it with them. Also, pray with them about the matter. (Compare James 5:16.) Help them build a real dependence upon Jehovah, an appreciation for the need to pray regularly and the need to act in harmony with those prayers.—1 Pet. 3:12; 1 John 3:22.
6 Demonstrating personal concern requires patience and love on our part. But how rewarding this is when we see those with whom we have studied “glorify the word of Jehovah” and become “believers”! Like the faithful disciples who taught those new ones in apostolic times, we too will be “filled with joy and holy spirit.”—Acts 13:48, 52.