“Preach the Word of God Fully”
1 When you sincerely appreciate receiving something good, do you not show it by your attitude and actions? Of course you do! Regarding the goodness and loving-kindness that Jehovah extends to mankind, notice how the apostle Paul reacted. He exclaimed: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable free gift”! What does that “free gift” include? All “the surpassing undeserved kindness of God” that has been shown to us, the greatest manifestation of which was the gift of his own Son as a ransom for our sins.—2 Cor. 9:14, 15; John 3:16.
2 Was Paul’s expression of thanks simply words on his part? By no means! In many ways he showed his deep appreciation. He was very much concerned about the spiritual welfare of his fellow Christians and wanted to do what he could to help them benefit to the full from God’s loving-kindness. Concerning such ones, Paul said: “Having a tender affection for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not only the good news of God, but also our own souls, because you became beloved to us.” (1 Thess. 2:8) In addition to helping those who were already part of the congregation to secure their salvation, Paul tirelessly preached the good news, traveling thousands of miles on land and sea to find those “who were rightly disposed for everlasting life.” (Acts 13:48) Paul’s deep appreciation for all that Jehovah had done for him moved him “to preach the word of God fully.”—Col. 1:25.
3 Does not our appreciation for all that Jehovah has done for us move us to offer spiritual assistance to those who need help in our congregation? (Gal. 6:10) And are we not moved to have as full a share as possible in preaching the good news of the Kingdom throughout our territory?—Matt. 24:14.
4 An Opportunity to Show Appreciation: Each year the Memorial of Christ’s death gives us a special opportunity to show appreciation for what Jehovah and Jesus have done for us. This is not just another meeting or merely a memorial of an event. Jesus said: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) The Memorial of Christ’s death is an occasion to call to mind the kind of person Jesus is. It is a time to recognize that he is alive and active today, with the glory and kingship that was given him for his faithful life course and sacrifice. This observance is also an opportunity to show our subjection to Christ’s headship as he directs the affairs and activities of the Christian congregation. (Col. 1:17-20) All of God’s people should respectfully be on hand for the Memorial of Christ’s death. This year it will be held after sundown on Thursday, March 28, 2002.
5 With the diligent effort put forth prior to the observance of the Memorial last year, we had an all-time peak attendance of 2,163,602 in the United States branch. What will be the attendance this year? Much will depend on our “working hard and exerting ourselves,” helping as many as possible to attend.—1 Tim. 4:10.
6 In addition to attending the Lord’s Evening Meal, we may be able to increase our field service activity. No doubt, tens of thousands of brothers and sisters will auxiliary pioneer one or more months. Each year for the past five years, we have had an average of 212,142 auxiliary pioneers during the Memorial season, March through May. Can you arrange your affairs to enjoy the privilege of auxiliary pioneering this year? It would be a fine way to show your sincere appreciation for God’s loving provision of Christ’s sacrifice. You can be assured of Jehovah’s blessing, as the following experiences show.
7 A sister who has a full-time secular job wrote about her experience of auxiliary pioneering last March: “The February 2001 Our Kingdom Ministry encouraged everyone whose circumstances permitted to auxiliary pioneer during the Memorial season. Since March had five Saturdays, this fitted well with my schedule. So I decided to turn in my application.” As she began the month, she set a goal for herself of trying to start a home Bible study. Did she succeed? Yes, in her 52nd hour of witnessing that month! Her conclusion? “There are wonderful blessings when we make the extra effort.”
8 What are the benefits to a family that pioneers together? A family of four that did so last April found it to be a month that will always be remembered. The mother said: “What a positive outlook we had for each day, since we were united in the ministry! Discussions on our daily activities in the service made dinnertime very enjoyable.” The son said: “I enjoyed working in the field service with Dad during the week, when he is normally working secularly.” The father added: “As the family head, I felt satisfaction in knowing that we were working together in the most important activity of our time.” Can your family pioneer together? Why not have a family discussion and see if it is possible for your whole household to auxiliary pioneer during this Memorial season?
9 Can We Make March Our Best Month Ever? Early in 2000, Our Kingdom Ministry posed the question: “Can We Make April 2000 Our Best Month Ever?” What was the response? Several new peaks were reached. There was an all-time one-month peak of 153,774 auxiliary pioneers. In addition, we had new peaks in hours, magazine placements, and return visits. Do you recall the enthusiasm that was generated in your congregation by the flurry of spiritual activity during that special month? Can we equal or even surpass those accomplishments this year? With concerted effort by all, March 2002 can become “Our Best Month Ever.” Why March?
10 There are two reasons why March should be a special month of activity. First, the Memorial will be held toward the end of March, giving us ample opportunity early in the month to invite as many as possible to attend. Second, this year March has five full weekends, making it easier to auxiliary pioneer for those who work secularly or who attend school. Why not sit down now and plan a workable schedule, using the calendar provided in this insert? Auxiliary pioneering may be easier than you think. For example, by scheduling 8 hours of field service each of the five weekends, you would need to schedule only 10 additional hours during the rest of the month to reach the required 50 hours.
11 What can the elders do to help all in the congregation to “preach the word of God fully”? Build enthusiasm through meeting parts and personal conversations. Congregation Book Study overseers and their assistants can take the initiative to speak with each one assigned to their group and offer personal assistance. A few kind words of encouragement or some practical suggestions may be just what is needed. (Prov. 25:11) Many will see that with some slight adjustments in their schedule, they can enjoy the privilege of serving as auxiliary pioneers. In a number of congregations, most, if not all, of the elders and ministerial servants and their wives set a fine example by auxiliary pioneering together during the Memorial season. This has encouraged scores of publishers to join them. Because of physical limitations or other circumstances, some publishers may not be in a position to pioneer, but they can be encouraged to demonstrate their appreciation by doing as much as they can in the ministry along with the rest of the congregation.
12 Success depends on careful planning on the part of the elders. Meetings for field service should be scheduled at convenient times throughout the week. If possible, the service overseer will assign in advance qualified brothers to conduct all meetings for service. Good preparation will be required so that these meetings do not exceed 10 to 15 minutes, including organizing groups, assigning territory, and saying a prayer. (See the Question Box in the September 2001 Our Kingdom Ministry.) A schedule of activity for the month should be clearly explained to the congregation and posted on the information board.
13 Adequate territory should be made available. The service overseer should meet with the brother handling territories to make arrangements for working the ones not covered frequently. Emphasis should be put on working not-at-homes, witnessing on the streets and from store to store, and doing evening witnessing. Where appropriate, some publishers may be helped to do telephone witnessing.
14 Help Them to Serve Again: Are any in your congregation’s territory no longer active in preaching the good news? Such ones are still part of the congregation and are in need of help. (Ps. 119:176) Since the end of this old world is so close and the new world is just ahead, we have good reason to put forth every effort to assist those who have become inactive. (Rom. 13:11, 12) Over the past five years, more than 26,500 people each year have responded to help and been reactivated. What can we do to help many more rekindle the love and confidence they had at the start?—Heb. 3:12-14.
15 The body of elders will want to discuss how they can help those who have become inactive during the past few years. (Matt. 18:12-14) The secretary should check the Congregation’s Publisher Record cards and make a note of all those who have become inactive. A special effort should be made through the shepherding arrangement to provide assistance. An elder might want to call on a certain publisher because of previous acquaintance and association with that one, or other publishers may be asked to help. Maybe they studied with the one who is now inactive and would welcome the opportunity to be of special assistance in this time of need. Hopefully, many of those who became inactive will be moved to start preaching the word of God again. If they qualify, there is no better time for them to start than during the Memorial season!—See the Question Box in the November 2000 Our Kingdom Ministry for further details.
16 Do Others Qualify to Preach? Jehovah continues to bless his people by bringing in “the desirable things of all the nations.” (Hag. 2:7) Each year thousands qualify as unbaptized publishers. Who are they? Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as progressive Bible students. How do we know if they qualify to be publishers of the good news?
17 Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Many children have accompanied their parents from house to house for years, although they are not yet serving as unbaptized publishers. March may be a good time to get them started. How do you know if your child is qualified? Page 100 in Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry says that it is “when a child is exemplary in his conduct and is able to make a personal expression of his faith by speaking to others about the good news, being moved from the heart to do so.” If you think that your child qualifies, speak with one of the elders on the Congregation Service Committee.
18 Qualified Bible Students: After a Bible student has taken in knowledge and attended meetings for a while, he may want to become a Kingdom publisher. If you are conducting the study with such a student, consider these questions: Is he making progress, consistent with his age and ability? Has he begun to share his faith informally with others? Is he putting on “the new personality”? (Col. 3:10) Does he meet the qualifications for unbaptized publishers, outlined on pages 97-9 in the Our Ministry book? If so, you should contact the Congregation Service Committee so that arrangements can be made for two elders to meet with you and the student. If he qualifies, the two elders will inform him that he can begin sharing in the public ministry.
19 What About April and May? These will also be special months for increased activity in the field ministry. Many who auxiliary pioneer in March may be able to do so again in April and/or May. During April and May, we will give priority to featuring the Watchtower and Awake! magazines in the ministry. What beneficial effects they have had on the lives of those who read them! These magazines have played a large role in achieving the marvelous increase that has been experienced worldwide. A special effort will be put forth during April and May to offer the magazines to as many people as possible. Plan now to have a full share.
20 With the increased preaching activity planned, do you need to increase the number of magazines you obtain through the congregation? Throughout the service year, we feature The Watchtower and Awake! each Saturday, our designated Magazine Day. However, since many will be sharing in the auxiliary pioneer service and all of us will be featuring the magazines for two full months, it may be necessary to increase your magazine order with the congregation. If so, please inform the magazine servant in your congregation immediately. At the same time, the literature servant should be sure that a good supply of the tract Would You Like to Know More About the Bible? is on hand for all to use.
21 Many have expressed appreciation for the feature in Our Kingdom Ministry entitled “What to Say About the Magazines.” Have you taken advantage of this provision by learning the sample magazine presentations? Why not use a portion of your family Bible study each week to practice these presentations?
22 Make the Most of This Memorial Season: Like the apostle Paul, let us show Jehovah how much we appreciate “his indescribable free gift” by our full participation in the spiritual activities planned for this Memorial season. These include (1) attending the most important occasion of the year, the observance of the Lord’s Evening Meal on Thursday, March 28, 2002; (2) helping those who have become inactive to rekindle “the love [they] had at first” (Rev. 2:4; Rom. 12:11); (3) assisting our children and any Bible students who qualify to become unbaptized publishers; and (4) being involved in the evangelizing work as fully as possible, even auxiliary pioneering in March and beyond.—2 Tim. 4:5.
23 It is our earnest prayer that all of us will have a full share in preaching the good news of the Kingdom this Memorial season, thus showing the depth of our appreciation for all that Jehovah has done for us.
[Box on page 6]
Personal Field Service Schedule for March 2002
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MEMORIAL Magazine Day
Can you schedule a total of 50 hours to auxiliary pioneer in March?