Auxiliary Pioneering—Have You Tried It?
1 The present auxiliary pioneer arrangement is now in its 11th year. Since it was introduced in September 1976, hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters have been enrolled. Many thousands of these plan ahead and arrange to serve as auxiliary pioneers during certain months each year. Others have been able to serve regularly as auxiliary pioneers for extended periods of time. All have had opportunity to benefit spiritually, draw closer to Jehovah, and become more effective ministers of the good news.
2 In September 1976, the first month of this arrangement, there was an enrollment of 16,388; that was over 10,000 more than those reporting as temporary pioneers the previous month. Enthusiasm for auxiliary pioneering continued to grow to the extent that a peak of over 100,000 was reached in April 1985. There were not quite so many in April 1986 because many former auxiliary pioneers had stepped into the regular pioneer ranks. Even so, over 96,000 were enrolled, the second highest number of auxiliary pioneers ever.
3 For many, auxiliary pioneering has proved to be a stepping-stone to privileges such as regular pioneering and Bethel service. But even if your present circumstances do not allow you to take up other special service at this time, would you not like to share in the joy that many are having as auxiliary pioneers?
MANY HAVE DONE IT
4 Are you a parent with children still at home? Do you have to work full-time secularly in order to support yourself and your family? Are you perhaps elderly, or do you have physical limitations? Do not quickly conclude that although you would like to auxiliary pioneer, it is impossible for you to do so now. If you have a strong desire to pioneer for at least one or two months during the year, there may be a way open to you.
5 The requirement of 60 hours may seem like a difficult challenge, but when you look at it from the standpoint of being an average of only 2 hours a day, leaving you with the rest of your time to care for other necessary obligations, the hour requirement may not seem so imposing. Can you spend some time in field service each day over a specified period of time?
6 Please consider what some congregations have done to encourage auxiliary pioneer service and the happy results their efforts have produced. In one congregation nearly half of the publishers enrolled as auxiliary pioneers. Included were three elders and three ministerial servants. One factor that helped to produce this fine response was the emphasizing of pioneer service in the congregation meetings for several months prior to April. Everyone in the congregation was made aware that April was to be a pioneer month. A total of 28 enrolled. Over half were married couples. One couple had five children and another had six, yet with careful planning they were able to take proper care of their family responsibilities and meet the pioneer requirements. Seven of the group had full-time secular jobs where they worked from 40 to 50 hours a week. One brother, who at first was apprehensive about signing up, stated: “It really is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. It just takes a good schedule.”
7 An elder in a southern state wrote that 29 in his congregation auxiliary pioneered. When the names of those enrolled were announced, this encouraged others to join the ranks. Counting the 29 who enrolled, along with one regular pioneer, there were 10 brothers and 20 sisters. They ranged in age from 18 to 71.
8 Almost without exception, those who auxiliary pioneer for the first time speak with enthusiasm about how much they have personally benefited from the increased field service activity. Some mention feeling closer to Jehovah, attaining increased joy in the service, becoming more confident at the doors, and having upbuilding experiences that they likely would not have enjoyed had they not enrolled as auxiliary pioneers.
9 One sister was able to auxiliary pioneer even though she has five children, works secularly, and has an unbaptized husband. How was she rewarded? Her husband gave his support, and as a result of her good example, he was inspired to start out in field service the following month. Another sister who had already signed up to auxiliary pioneer wrote to say that her employer had gone back on his word about giving her time off. So she told him she would have to quit her job if she did not get the time off that she needed. She was determined to keep her commitment to pioneer. She reminded her employer that she could call in sick as others might do, but she would never do that since it was not honest. He agreed to give her the time she needed. How did she benefit? Only a few days of auxiliary pioneering helped strengthen her reliance on Jehovah. She said: “I don’t worry so much about finances as I used to. Jehovah actually had to teach me to trust him.”
10 A disabled brother wrote to the Society about the success he and his wife were having as auxiliary pioneers. He said: “I am disabled and can only go for a limited time each day, so 60 hours a month is about right for me. We started September 1 and plan to stay in it. We’re having many blessings, and for the first time since we started working with the congregation, we feel that we’re accomplishing something in the territory.” This is just a sample of the comments made by those who arranged their schedule so as to auxiliary pioneer.
WILL YOU TRY IT?
11 Are you one of the many publishers who have had a longing to be a pioneer but concluded that personal circumstances would not permit pioneering on a regular basis? The Society had you in mind when introducing the auxiliary pioneer arrangement. Jehovah’s blessing and your careful planning are necessary, but you can be assured that the spiritual growth and the joy to be had will make it well worth while. (Neh. 8:10) Why not make positive plans now to auxiliary pioneer in March and April? For some, May will be an ideal month for pioneering since it has five full weekends this year. So April and May might be a better time for you.
12 Keep in mind that to be successful, careful planning is needed. This is evident from the experiences of those who were able to auxiliary pioneer even though they had family responsibilities, full-time secular jobs, and other Scriptural obligations. Each person can ask himself, “Why do I want to pioneer?” and, “How can I go about accomplishing my goal?” The harvest is not over, and in many areas it is truly “great.”—Matt. 9:37, 38; John 4:35.
13 This is a time for vigorous increased activity on the part of all of God’s servants. Could you not set aside a month or perhaps even more each year for increased field activity in the auxiliary pioneer service? (Eph. 5:16) Hundreds of thousands of our brothers have tried it already. Can you also have a share?