Be “Intensely Occupied” With Your Ministry
1 When we read that the apostle Paul worked at tentmaking while in Corinth, we might conclude that this limited his opportunity to preach. However, Acts 18:5 relates: “Paul began to be intensely occupied with the word, witnessing to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Christ.” Why was Paul so occupied with the preaching activity? Even though many in Corinth had already become believers, the Lord confirmed that there were yet many more disciples to be made in that city. (Acts 18:8-11) Do we have similar reason to be intensely occupied with our ministry? Yes. Many more people can be found and taught the truth.
2 Spend More Time in Service During April: Likely it is your goal to keep busy in preaching the good news every month. But certain months especially lend themselves to our being “intensely occupied” with this activity. These include the month of April, at the height of the Memorial season. Have your circumstances allowed you to auxiliary pioneer or to increase your effort in the ministry this spring? Many publishers who are doing so have been richly blessed. (2 Cor. 9:6) If you are doing all that you can, remember that Jehovah is pleased with your whole-souled service. (Luke 21:2-4) Whatever your circumstances, make it your goal to be “intensely occupied” with your ministry during April. And do not forget to turn in your field service report at the end of the month so that your effort will be counted with that of the rest of Jehovah’s people.
3 Visit New Ones Who Attended the Memorial: In the United States last year, the Memorial attendance was 2,153,268. The total attendance for this year remains to be seen. Yet, reports indicate that there exists a marvelous potential for a greater “harvest.” (Matt. 9:37, 38) Therefore, as soon as possible, arrange to visit the interested ones who attended the Memorial to assist them spiritually. Postponing such visits could allow ‘the wicked one to snatch away the word of the kingdom sown in their hearts.’ (Matt. 13:19) A prompt visit will show that you are indeed “intensely occupied” with your ministry.
4 Continue to Assist the Inactive Ones: In February a special effort began to help inactive ones. If there are some who have not yet received a shepherding call, the elders should arrange to visit them well before April ends. The elders will endeavor to determine the underlying cause of the individual’s problem and how best to assist him to serve Jehovah actively again. This loving help shows that the elders take seriously their responsibility as shepherds of “the flock of God.” (1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28) The September 15, 1993, issue of The Watchtower, pages 22-3, provides excellent suggestions that can be used by the elders when addressing any of five typical problems that may be affecting inactive ones. Ideally, some can still be reactivated in the field ministry during April.
5 Help More to Become Unbaptized Publishers: Have your children qualified as new publishers of the good news? What about others with whom you are studying the Bible? If such ones are approved by the elders, would not April be a wonderful time for them to begin publishing? If a person is making progress and has studied the Require brochure and the Knowledge book, the Bible study may be continued in a second book—either the God’s Word book, the True Peace book, or the United in Worship book. Your goal is to help the student achieve greater insight into the truth, qualify as an unbaptized publisher, and become a dedicated and baptized Witness of Jehovah.—Eph. 3:17-19; 1 Tim. 1:12; 1 Pet. 3:21.
6 Your consistent and genuine interest in your Bible students may help them eventually to make the truth their own. One Witness met an elderly couple who heartily agreed to a Bible study. But the couple postponed the study three weeks in a row. Eventually the study was started. Then, the couple canceled the study almost every other week. Finally, though, the wife progressed to the point of baptism. “After she was baptized,” the brother recalls, “her eyes were filled with tears of happiness, which brought tears of happiness to both my wife and me.” Yes, being “intensely occupied” with the good news brings great joy!
7 Bible prophecy and world events indicate that we are living deep in the time of the end. Now is when all of God’s people need to be “intensely occupied” with making the good news known to others. The apostle Paul gives assurance that such labor is definitely “not in vain in connection with the Lord.”—1 Cor. 15:58.