Congregation Book Study Arrangement
Part 5—Visit of Service Overseer
1 The service overseer should be an evangelizer and a teacher. He plays a key role in helping the congregation fulfill its responsibility to preach and teach the good news in its assigned territory. (Mark 13:10) When he takes his responsibility seriously and everyone cooperates, publishers will develop greater skill in presenting the good news and there will be a more thorough coverage of the territory.
2 The service overseer concentrates on stimulating greater activity in the field ministry. This is accomplished primarily through the Congregation Book Study. Normally, the service overseer is assigned to conduct a book study, but once each month his assistant may fill in for him while he visits another group.—km 10/81 pp. 1, 7.
3 Preparation for the Visit: Prior to the week of this visit, the service overseer should check the Congregation’s Publisher Record cards for those associated with the group. He should also arrange to meet with the conductor and review the activity of the publishers assigned to the group. The conductor can apprise the service overseer of any service-related problems or of needs that may not be evident from the record cards. The study conductor should be reminded that the study is to be only 45 minutes in length to allow time for a 15-minute service talk by the service overseer.
4 This talk will be aimed at promoting greater appreciation for the ministry. If publishers need assistance in some features of the ministry, the service overseer should offer practical suggestions for improvement. His remarks should be positive and encouraging so as not to embarrass or discourage anyone by negative comments. This would only defeat the purpose of his visit. His talk should encourage all to improve.
5 The service overseer endeavors to give individual attention to as many of the brothers and sisters as his schedule will allow. He can make appointments to work with various ones in the service. While working with the publishers from house to house, he may offer a helpful suggestion or two on ways to improve their presentations. This should be done not in a critical manner but with a sincere desire to be helpful. He may also offer to accompany publishers on return visits and Bible studies. If any in the group appear to need personal assistance, he may make a shepherding call during that week to help them. Thereafter, he can inform the conductor of the suggestions offered. This warm, personal attention has been a stimulus to some who have slowed down in their field service.
6 Meeting for Service: The meetings for field service that week should be conducted by the service overseer. They should start on time even if only a few are present. The meeting should be no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Consideration of the daily Scripture text is optional. Before the group is dismissed, everyone should know where and with whom he will be working. (1 Cor. 14:33, 40) The service overseer should encourage everyone to leave for field service without delay.
7 The service overseer’s regular visits to the book study groups can be a real blessing to the congregation. By each of us cooperating with him when he visits, our ministry will be orderly and effective. Further, he will get joy from his work. (Heb. 13:17) Sheeplike ones will be gathered, and we will have the joy of knowing we have fulfilled our commission to preach to all who will hear.—Isa. 61:1, 2; Ezek. 9:11; John 17:26.