Help at the Right Time
1 Because of his genuine concern for the congregation, Jesus will always provide “help at the right time.” (Heb. 4:16) Much of the needed help is provided through “gifts in men,” as promised at Ephesians 4:8, 11, 12. One such gift is the service overseer in each congregation.
2 In what ways can the service overseer help us? There are several: (1) He strives to keep all of us conscious of the importance of the preaching and disciple-making work. (2) He is concerned that good organization and leadership in the field are being provided through the Congregation Book Study groups. (3) He is interested in seeing that each of us is given the personal help needed to improve our effectiveness as ministers.
SERVICE OVERSEER VISITS
3 In addition to the regular fine assistance provided through the Congregation Book Study arrangement, special provisions have been made for us to receive help on a personal basis. The service overseer usually is assigned to conduct a Congregation Book Study, but once each month he leaves his own group to work with one of the other book studies for a week. His assistant fills in while he is gone. He informs the study conductor in advance of his visit so that the group can make necessary plans to benefit fully from the week’s activities.
4 During this special week, the book study is conducted in the usual way for 45 minutes. This allows 15 minutes for the service overseer to give an encouraging talk designed to help us improve in our evangelizing work. It is important for all publishers, as well as newly interested ones, to be present.
5 All publishers in the group being visited should arrange to have a full share in service during this special visit, especially on the weekend. Where appropriate, evening witnessing may be organized for that week. One of the goals of the service overseer is to work in the service with as many publishers as possible. Perhaps he can accompany some of us on our return visits and Bible studies. Any who feel the need for assistance or encouragement in the ministry can approach him requesting help. Also, we can receive benefits by attending the meetings for field service that he conducts for the group that week.
6 The service overseer takes time to discuss the activity of the group with the study conductor. Regular arrangements for service are reviewed to make sure that things are organized in a practical way that is convenient for all. If some need help or encouragement to share regularly in the ministry, he may talk to them privately and offer some kindly suggestions that will help them improve. The service overseer can make arrangements to call on irregular publishers with the study conductor. Also, he can review the file of Bible study reports with the book study conductor for that group. Perhaps they can accompany some of the publishers on their home Bible studies and offer spiritual encouragement.
7 In congregations having many book studies, the visits of the service overseer will be less often. Therefore, all should make an extra effort to benefit fully when he visits. During the visit, take note of the suggestions given for improving your ministry and make diligent effort to apply them before the next visit. Of course, he is available in the congregation to provide assistance at any time we are in need of it. In congregations having few Congregation Book Studies, the service overseer will endeavor to visit each group at least every six months.
8 Our willingness to cooperate with the service overseer and give wholehearted support when he visits our Congregation Book Study will help us to increase our effectiveness in the disciple-making work and find greater joy in our ministry.