Can We Make April 2000 Our Best Month Ever?
1 Wednesday evening, April 19, will be the highlight of our service year. That day, as the sun sets progressively around the earth, every congregation and group of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide will hold the Memorial of Christ’s death. In whatever time zone we live, commemorating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ will be the crowning event of the year. The date of the Memorial is highlighted on the month of April on the 2000 Calendar of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
2 The entire month of April gives us a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate in a whole-souled way our appreciation for Jehovah’s undeserved kindness expressed through the sacrifice of his Son. How so? The apostle Paul wrote: “The love the Christ has compels us, because this is what we have judged, that one man died for all; so, then, all had died; and he died for all that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised up.” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15) Yes, during April we can demonstrate that we are living, not for ourselves, but for him who died for us, making this our best month ever as ministers of the Kingdom!
3 Sign Up to Auxiliary Pioneer in April: The apostle Paul set a stirring example for us when he said: “I do not make my soul of any account as dear to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received of the Lord Jesus, to bear thorough witness to the good news of the undeserved kindness of God.” (Acts 20:24) We have the same privilege of bearing thorough witness about Jehovah God. To that end, we would like to make April our best month ever in auxiliary pioneer activity!
4 With its five full weekends, April 2000 will be an excellent month for many to pioneer. Back in April 1989, when we reached our all-time peak of auxiliary pioneers, the 120,979 who participated represented 15 percent of the total publishers. Ten years later, the total number of publishers who reported in April 1999 had increased by over 18 percent. This means that we have tremendous potential to exceed our previous peak of auxiliary pioneers. Additionally, the requirement of hours has since been reduced, making this feature of service accessible to many more in the congregation. Each baptized publisher ought to consider prayerfully whether he is able to auxiliary pioneer this April.
5 Using the month of April on the 2000 Calendar, plan your schedule now for next month. Decide which days you will be able to share in field service, and add up all the hours that you feel that you can devote to the preaching activity during the month. Include the time you can spend in witnessing to others both formally and informally. Does the total come close to the requirement of 50 hours for auxiliary pioneers? If you are lacking the hours needed, can you make any other adjustments in your schedule so as to buy out the time to auxiliary pioneer? You would need to average just one hour and 40 minutes each day to reach 50 hours for the month.
6 Now that the hour requirement has also been reduced for regular pioneers, have you been contemplating entering the full-time ministry? Why wait until summer to begin? With winter behind us, April would be a fine month to start! If you are uncertain about your ability to meet the 70-hour requirement for regular pioneers, why not auxiliary pioneer in April and set 70 hours as your goal? Once you see that you can do it, you may be more inclined to apply to join the ranks of the regular pioneers as soon as possible.—See Our Ministry, pages 113-14.
7 Share Fully as a Publisher of the Good News: For all of us, publishers and pioneers alike, our genuine love for God and for neighbor moves us to be whole-souled in doing all we can in Jehovah’s service according to our personal circumstances. (Luke 10:27) We thus show that “we are working hard and exerting ourselves, because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a Savior of all sorts of men, especially of faithful ones.” (1 Tim. 4:10) That is why we should expect to see 100-percent participation in April, with everyone having a full share in the Kingdom work.
8 Let us not forget Jesus’ exhortation: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” Immediately after saying that, Jesus summoned his 12 apostles and sent them forth to preach. (Matt. 9:37, 38; 10:1, 5, 7) About a year later, after the 12 were well trained in the preaching activity, Jesus “designated seventy others and sent them forth,” giving them the same instructions: “The harvest, indeed, is great . . . Therefore beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:1, 2) The Bible book of Acts reports how Jehovah answered those prayers. By Pentecost 33 C.E., the number of disciples had grown to about 120. Then, consecutive peaks of 3,000 and 5,000 disciples were reached. (Acts 1:15; 2:41; 4:4) After that, “the number of the disciples kept multiplying.” (Acts 6:7) Likewise, in the modern era, we must keep begging the Master for still more Kingdom preachers! In harmony with our prayers, each congregation publisher should make definite arrangements to participate in the ministry every month.
9 Please take a close look at April on the 2000 Calendar. Since the first two days of the month are a Saturday and a Sunday, can you make plans to share in service that weekend, getting an early start in the month? Can you support every “Magazine Day” during the month with your Congregation Book Study group? What about spending an hour or more each Sunday in the ministry? Thanks to daylight saving time, there will be more daylight hours in the early evenings. Can you arrange to share in some evening witnessing? And do not forget to take advantage of all the opportunities you have to witness informally on the job, at school, or while engaging in other day-to-day activities. Mark the days that you can spend some time in the ministry, and use the calendar to keep track of your service time for the month.
10 April will be an opportune time for all who are qualified and who have been approved by the elders to begin serving as unbaptized publishers. If you study the Bible with someone, has that person progressed sufficiently to approach the presiding overseer to ask to be considered as a publisher of the good news? If you have unbaptized children, have you discussed their spiritual progress with the elders? Would this not be a good time for them to start publishing?—See Our Ministry, pages 97-100.
11 In our endeavor to make April 2000 our best month ever, all of us need to share in the ministry and then turn in our field service report at the end of the month. (Compare Mark 6:30.) The new unbaptized publishers who share in field service for the first time should be encouraged to report their activity promptly. By doing our part, we can make a fine contribution to the April report and to the great shout of praise that will be offered to Jehovah through our witnessing efforts.
12 Bring Others With You to the Memorial: Would it not thrill us to see a new peak in attendance at the 2000 Memorial of Christ’s death? Yes! It would mean that the most people ever had come together to manifest their appreciation for the greatest expressions of love that Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have made in our behalf! (John 3:16; 15:13) Make whatever arrangements are necessary so that nothing will prevent you and your family from attending the Memorial.
13 Now is also the time to begin inviting others to the Memorial. Make a list of everyone you would like to see attend. Include any who have studied the Bible in the past, those who are studying now, and all your return visits. Add to the list your acquaintances at work, at school, and in the neighborhood, as well as anyone you do business with. Do not forget to include other acquaintances and your relatives. After compiling the list, start extending an earnest, personal invitation to each one. Make clear when and where the Memorial will be held. As April 19 draws closer, give those on your list a reminder, either in person or by telephone. Offer to have them accompany you to the Memorial that night.
14 In harmony with previous direction from the Society, the body of elders will be making a special effort to encourage all inactive publishers in the territory to attend the Memorial. (Matt. 18:12-14) The elders will want to review the Society’s letter of February 2, 1999. The congregation secretary is to make a list of all inactive publishers, and the service overseer will assign elders to call on them and invite them to the Memorial. Perhaps by receiving an encouraging shepherding visit as soon as possible, these inactive ones can be assisted to become active again in the field ministry, even during April. It will be upbuilding to them to be invited to share with an experienced publisher in the field service.
15 Encourage Good Support for April! It will take good coordination on the part of all the elders, ministerial servants, and family heads to make April 2000 our best month ever. The elders will be diligent in having everything well organized and in taking the lead. (Heb. 13:7) Practical arrangements need to be made for meetings for field service on weekdays and on weekends. Additional meetings for service may be arranged for late afternoon and early evening activity. A complete schedule of all that is planned for April should be posted on the information board. Someone will need to be assigned to handle each scheduled meeting for service. Sufficient territory should be provided to care for the needs of each group.
16 During April the Watchtower and Awake! magazines will be featured. In an effort to start home Bible studies, the Require brochure is to be offered to all who show interest. Hence, ample supplies of magazines and brochures need to be provided.
17 At the end of the month, all book study conductors and their assistants will want to encourage each one in their group to turn in a service report immediately after the month ends. Perhaps this can even be done on Sunday, April 30. Then, when the secretary tallies the reports, if he notes that some publishers have not turned theirs in, he can kindly remind them to do so before May 6, when he must submit the congregation report to the Society. He may call upon book study conductors to assist him in contacting individual publishers.
18 The Memorial season is the most important period of the year for God’s people. It should be a very busy time for all of us in Jehovah’s service. It will be if everyone shares as fully as possible as a publisher of the good news, if those who can sign up to auxiliary pioneer do so, and if we are diligent in bringing others with us to the Memorial of Christ’s death. Let us earnestly pray for Jehovah’s rich blessing as we endeavor to make April 2000 our best month ever, all to God’s praise and glory!—Heb. 13:15.
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Our All-Time Peak: 120,979
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Our All-Time Peak: 1,040,283
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Our All-Time Peak: 2,135,167