Has the Door to Pioneering Now Opened for You?
1 Our 1999 yeartext reminds us that we are still within Jehovah’s “day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2) But his day of salvation will soon end. Then his “day of judgment” will begin. (2 Pet. 2:9) While Jehovah continues to extend the opportunity for salvation to mankind, how thrilling it is to see ever-increasing numbers respond!
2 Jehovah’s people have risen to the challenge of reaching the responsive ones before it is too late. For many Kingdom publishers, this has meant entering the pioneer service. Has the door to pioneering now opened for you? Why do we ask?
3 Appreciation Expressed: As announced in the January 1999 Our Kingdom Ministry, the hour requirement for both regular and auxiliary pioneers has been reduced. To meet the new requirement, regular pioneers need to devote 70 hours to the ministry each month for a total of 840 hours per service year. Auxiliary pioneers will spend 50 hours in the service each month. Here are a few of the many expressions of appreciation that have been received as a result of these adjustments:
“What a blessed gift from our heavenly Father!”
“No words can convey the emotions of joy, love, and gratitude for this provision!”
“It will make meeting our schedules so much easier!”
“Our prayer is that many more will now take up the full-time ministry and enjoy the blessings that come from serving Jehovah in a large way.”
4 As we approach the climax of God’s day of salvation, it is evident that Jehovah desires his people to give a final, mighty shout of praise. The magnitude and intensity of this message is increased (1) by the steady growth in the number of Kingdom proclaimers and (2) by each one’s seeking to increase what he is able to do in Kingdom preaching. Jehovah, the one “who makes it grow,” has brought success in both ways by blessing the willing spirit of all who have accepted salvation.—1 Cor. 3:6, 7; Ps. 110:3.
5 Do Not Miss Its Purpose: It was with respect to Jehovah’s day of salvation that Paul admonished fellow Christians: “Working together with him [Jehovah], we also entreat you not to accept the undeserved kindness of God and miss its purpose.” We will not “miss its purpose” if we see this as “the especially acceptable time” to work for the salvation of others at every opportunity. (2 Cor. 6:1, 2) Today, Paul’s words take on greater urgency. Christians manifesting a heartfelt love for Jehovah count it a privilege to share as fully as possible in the ministry that he has assigned them. Are you now able to share more fully in the ministry as a regular pioneer?
6 It Is a Reasonable Goal: In the United States, it is our goal to see 90,000 regular pioneers enrolled by September 1. We believe that this is a reasonable and attainable goal. Why are we so confident? In March 1997 we saw 116,335 brothers and sisters auxiliary pioneer, and in April 1998 nearly 90,000 did so. The majority reported 60 hours—just 10 hours short of the new regular pioneer requirement! Even if only 15,000 of those who have auxiliary pioneered enroll as regular pioneers before the end of this service year, we could start September with 90,000 or more full-time pioneers!
7 A Schedule Is Needed: Does 70 hours of field service a month still seem a little out of reach for you? Perhaps thinking in terms of 17 hours a week will help. Using the sample schedules on the next page, try to create a regular pioneer schedule that will fit your personal circumstances. In working it out, talk with experienced pioneers to get their input on how they balance pioneer service with personal and family responsibilities. Ask your circuit overseer how pioneers in the circuit schedule their service activity each week. Then look to Jehovah to bless your plans to pioneer.—Prov. 16:3.
8 Make It a Family Project: Have you considered making pioneering a family project? You might sit down as a family and discuss how—with careful planning and good cooperation—one or two members of the family may be able to pioneer. Understandably, some will find that an honest evaluation of their circumstances does not allow for regular pioneering right now. If so, set pioneering as a future goal. But start making plans to work toward a definite date to begin pioneering. Perhaps you can auxiliary pioneer several times during the year to work up to regular pioneer service.
9 The more than 75,000 regular pioneers currently on the list in the United States have varied circumstances. Not all are in the best of health, and the majority have family and financial obligations. Over 26,000 pioneers are past the age of 50, and about 10,000 of them are over the age of 65. Some 27,000 are single, and about 8,000 are 20 years of age or younger. Approximately one fourth of all the pioneers are brothers, many of whom have family and congregational responsibilities. All of these are “buying out the opportune time” for pioneering, which in many instances has meant living a simpler yet more contented life.—Col. 4:5.
10 Do You Need to Simplify? Simplifying your life can be the key that opens the door to pioneering for you. Is your life like a large house with unnecessary rooms and furnishings, requiring much time, money, and work to care for? If so, adapting to more modest circumstances may allow for pioneering. Can you reduce the amount of time you spend in secular work? Can you buy out time from nonessential activity or show greater balance in the amount of time spent in recreation?
11 The Bible, at 1 Timothy 6:8, admonishes us: “Having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.” Being content with less is an important factor in doing our utmost in Jehovah’s service and makes it easier to give priority to spiritual interests. (Matt. 6:22, 33) On page 104 of the 1998 Yearbook in the report on Japan, several suggestions are offered as to why there is such a fine pioneer spirit in that land. Consider one: “It is generally true that Japanese homes are quite modest, thus requiring little time for upkeep, and for the most part, lives are traditionally kept simple.” Is that not the essence of 1 Timothy 6:8?
12 Around the globe, God’s servants are preaching the good news with ever-increasing intensity before Jehovah’s day of salvation comes to an end. Commendably, last year an average of nearly 700,000 shared in some form of pioneer service each month. Can you adjust your life in order to join them? We invite you to carefully and prayerfully examine your circumstances as you answer the question: “Has the door to pioneering now opened for you?”
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GOAL: 90,000 REGULAR PIONEERS!
[Box on page 4]
Sample Regular Pioneer Schedules
Needed: 17 hours a week
One Weekday and the Weekend
Total Hours: 17
Two Weekdays and Saturday
Total Hours: 17
Three Weekdays and Sunday
Total Hours: 17
Two Evenings and the Weekend
Total Hours: 17
Create Your Own Regular Pioneer Schedule
Total Hours: 17